Lean Successfully Tackles Home Health Care Business

A middle-sized Home Health Care and Hospice company was faced with multiple challenges. Many of their processes had become filled with process waste yet these steps were difficult to find. To add to their challenge, they had just purchased another home health care company with similar but different processes and the integration of these processes were very difficult.

This complex situation, along with the fact that each group thought their process was the only way it could be done, presented an impasse internally. The CEO and Senior management were struggling with how to approach a solution to this problem.

We were brought in to do an assessment, select a team, then start with baseline training. We determined immediately that the Value Stream Mapping of the various processes would be the starting point.

By driving the development of the Current State Value Stream Map quickly and keeping the team members only focused on the processes/activities, and not the people, we were able to effectively engage the team and get full cooperation to analyze the end-to-end process. Over a couple days, the participants worked together and identified the non-value/waste in the system.

We captured pages of Kaizen opportunities. We then designed the ideal Future State removing the waste activities. From this phase, they developed a standard workflow across several processes. They created ‘flow’ from end-to-end where the communication, information and material flow was continuous and the stopping/waiting, plus redundant activities were removed.

We guided them though a process to quickly achieve the goal of improving their processes. And in a very short period, less than 2 weeks, they were seeing dramatic improvements.

Some improvements were – the Referral process saw an improvement of 48 hours to 1 to 2 hours (95% improvement). They also increased quality, standardized processes, and improved communications. Another critical result was their pride and teamwork abilities greatly improved – they were excited about their accomplishments.

They are estimating from just what has been done so far over $300,000 in annual savings.
The organization had several employees with strong Lean experience but too often companies need the focus of an outside consultant to guide them very rapidly through the methodology.

The CEO stated,‘we achieved more in a very short period of time, than they could have achieved in over a year’.

They are now very excited about keeping the momentum going, and expanding Lean throughout other processes.