Systems Thinking and Kaizen: Tools for Hospital Pharmacy Process Improvement

1988 WordsSep 22, 20088 Pages
Systems Thinking and Kaizen: Tools for Hospital Pharmacy Process Improvement Abstract With increasing operation costs, patient safety awareness, and a shortage of trained personnel, it is becoming increasingly important for hospital pharmacy management to make good operational decisions. In the case of hospital inpatient pharmacies, making decisions about staffing and work flow is difficult due to the complexity of the systems used and the variation in the orders to be filled. Pharmacy turnaround time is a crucial metric for patient safety and caregivers’ satisfaction. Pharmacy management is under constant demand to reduce turnaround time. In order to help The…show more content…
The application of systems thinking forces planners and strategists to focus on processes, interactions and causes of poor outcomes, rather than individual players, isolated components of a system or interim results. 'When only the superficial symptoms of complex problems are addressed, the underlying problem typically remains unsolved, and even can be exacerbated if the solution feeds into a vicious cycle such as providing food as direct aid, which relieves starvation but perpetuates the problem of population growth in inhospitable climates' (Edmondson, 1996 quoting Senge, 1990). Managed care in the USA and the British National Health Service were touted as answers to national healthcare ills, but each has both exacerbated the old problems and created new ones. Any attempt to solve a problem or improve an outcome needs to deal with both, system and process. Recognizing that we operate within systems requires a different type of thinking to be fully effective. Thinking that fully explores the complexity of the cause and effect relationship between the constituent processes and the behavior of the people that enact them. Systems Thinking is the key capability for describing and understanding problems to optimize outcome. KAIZEN, a tool for systems improvement KAIZEN is a Japanese word meaning gradual and orderly, continuous improvement. The KAIZEN

More about Systems Thinking and Kaizen: Tools for Hospital Pharmacy Process Improvement

Open Document