The healthcare system of today's westernised civilisation holds a paradox: on the one hand, hospitals equipped with state-of-the-art-technology and well-educated staff working under best hygienic conditions is regarded standard. On the other hand, our healthcare system is ailing and cutbacks in capital spending, wages and personnel appear on the agenda. Accordingly, a more sophisticated approach that helps hospitals to work efficiently and effectively is needed. Among quality management tools, Lean is one suitable methodology that can help healthcare organisations out of the dilemma. Originally, Lean is a management methodology that goes back to production processes with the main aim to increase output by reducing input. The lean philosophy has its origin in the Japanese manufacturing industry and is strongly bound to the Toyota Production System (TPS). In hospitals, Lean is ideally based on three main pillars: process optimisation, patient-oriented management as well as engaging and leading employees. The first chapter of the book deals with the main principles and tools of Lean to give readers an overview about the basic ideas of this management philosophy. The understanding for waste and wasteful activities will be enhanced and tools such as Kanban, Kaizen and Value Stream Mapping, that are helpful for identification and elimination of waste, will be introduced. Furthermore, new terms and concepts such as Lean Sigma, telemedicine and e-health are examined. For Lean to tap its full potential, human aspects must be considered likewise. One of the most important aspects in hospitals is the successful management of patients. The second chapter concentrates on factors that positively influence the bottom line in a hospital. Thus, patient satisfaction, strategic alliances in the healthcare environment and hospital marketing are of main focus since all these aspects are considered value-adding steps that help to increase service quality and to streamline processes in
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Verena Lindenau-Stockfisch was born on February 6, 1976 in Meißen (Saxony) and grew up in the today's known New Laender in Germany. After her graduation as an International Management Assistant in 2003, she was working in an export company, specialised on turn-key hospital projects mainly in the Middle East. In 2009, she graduated from her extra-occupational but full-time BA studies that were important to improve her professional skills in the fields of Business Administration. Various stays abroad, among others in Great Britain and South Africa, as well as the BA studies mainly held in English, contributed to her language skills and enabled her to work on an academic level. Already during her work as a Project Manager, she gained comprehensive experience with regard to structuring, elaboration and budgeting of international hospital projects. Above all, her position demanded the ability of leading a project team and cooperation with engineers, medical planners and architects and to ensure optimal process structuring in a hospital from the very beginning. At a German-Arabic Health & Economy Congress in 2006, she became first acquainted with the definition Lean Healthcare. Since that day, she has been fascinated and intensively studied the topic Lean Management in Hospitals. Since January 2011, Ms Lindenau-Stockfisch has been working for a hospital near Leipzig. In her position as a Manager for Strategic Planning she is accepting the challenge of introducing and implementing the Lean Methodology there.
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