When it kicked off its patient care revamp, executives with Wisconsin health system ThedaCare had two broad objects: finding waste and identifying risk. Its new healthcare model, Collaborative Care, is designed to do just that. Drawing manufacturing techniques, the system has redesigned every task from restocking supplies to physician rounds. The results: The general medicine unit has reduced patient stays by 20 percent.
The biggest changes resulting from the model involve tighter collaboration and redefined roles for doctors, pharmacists, nurses and other caregivers. For example, doctors make rounds with the pharmacists and nurse, and sometimes a care manager as well. These teams help each other, on the spot, as needed. For example, pharmacists give immediate advice on dosing or ask questions about why the doctor ordered what he or she did. Meanwhile, nurses focus on coordinating care, while LPNs or nurse assistants do many tasks the RNs used to do.
Other changes include physical, practical care process helpers, such as colored lights outside the rooms to indicate when a doctor has written an order or medication has been developed, and magnets on the door for when a patient needs a specimen taken or test.
To learn more about these changes:
- read this Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel piece
HIMSS: Patient safety top reason for IT investment. Report
Case study: Hospital takes lessons from Toyota. Report
BIDMC uses lean production approach. Report
Memorial Hospital-South Bend--Hospital Innovators 2007. Report