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Lean management in a liaison psychiatry department: implementation, benefits and pitfalls

  • Lauren Alexander (a1), Susan Moore (a1), Nigel Salter (a1) and Leonard Douglas (a1)

Abstract

Aims and method

To apply process mapping, a component of lean management, to a liaison psychiatry service of an emergency department. Lean management is a strategy that has been adapted to healthcare from business and production industries and aims to improve efficiency of a process. The process consisted of four stages: individual interviews with stakeholders, generation of process maps, allocation of goals and assessment of outcomes.

Results

There was a significant reduction in length of stay of psychiatric patients in the emergency department (median difference: 1 h; P = 0.015). Five of the six goals were met successfully.

Clinical implications

This article demonstrates a management intervention that successfully reduced length of stay in an emergency department. Further to the improvements in tangible (quantitative) outcomes, process mapping improved interpersonal relations between different disciplines. This paper may be used to guide similar quality improvement exercises in other areas of healthcare.

Declaration of interest

None.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dr Lauren Alexander (lalexand@tcd.ie)

References

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Lean management in a liaison psychiatry department: implementation, benefits and pitfalls

  • Lauren Alexander (a1), Susan Moore (a1), Nigel Salter (a1) and Leonard Douglas (a1)
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