PITTSBURGH, Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Simpler® Consulting, L.P., a leading global management consulting firm, today announced the appointment of Dr. George Palma to medical director. In this newly created role, Dr. Palma, former Assistant Physician in Chief and Chief of Neurology at Kaiser Permanente, will provide client consulting support and strategic counsel to help guide Simpler Consulting's healthcare strategy, continuous improvement work and employee development.
An estimated $700 billion is wasted annually across the U.S. healthcare system, which includes administrative inefficiency, redundant paperwork, medical mistakes and overuse of medication and tests. Lean management, which has its roots in the manufacturing industry, has infiltrated healthcare organizations as a practical solution that maximizes an organization's ongoing ability to eliminate waste, improve the quality of care and strengthen the bottom line. Simpler Consulting's work in healthcare is expanding, with more than 80 hospitals across the world using Lean management.
"Simpler created the medical director position to respond to the increasing number of hospitals that are interested in implementing Lean management to improve patient care and reduce rising health costs," said Marc S. Hafer, President and CEO, Simpler Consulting. "Dr. Palma has the unique combination of professional expertise and passion for Lean. Through his work with Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Palma implemented Lean management to cut costs and improve patient care throughout the health system. We are confident Dr. Palma's credentials and personal Lean journey will allow him to become a valuable resource for our healthcare clients."
A 34-year industry veteran, Dr. Palma most recently served as Assistant Physician in Chief for the Sacramento and Roseville Medical Centers with The Permanente Medical Group. He was responsible for quality and patient safety work, and had operational oversight of the neurology, interventional neuroradiology, and neurosurgery departments. He led the development of a Joint Commission certified stroke center and served as its medical director. Earlier in his career Dr. Palma also held a full-time academic faculty practice at the University of California's Davis School of Medicine.
In addition, Dr. Palma played an instrumental role in Kaiser Permanente's work with Simpler Consulting to implement Lean management. He facilitated the work to improve patient flow and care experience in the ambulatory care satellites, emergency departments and inpatient units of two large medical centers. Through this work, Dr. Palma learned firsthand how Lean management enables clinicians and staff "to do the right thing" for every patient, every time. This enabled Kaiser Permanente to provide care at a lower cost, while measurably improving the quality of the outcome and the patient's satisfaction.
"I am excited to join Simpler Consulting and provide strategic guidance to hospital executives, clinicians and staff as they begin their Lean journey," said Dr. Palma. "In today's healthcare environment, hospitals and medical groups across the country are struggling with ways to stay fiscally responsible without sacrificing quality of care. Through my work with Simpler, I learned that Lean management not only allows hospitals to make bottom-line improvements, it provides a forum to cultivate innovation and transform the delivery of care."
About Simpler Consulting, L.P.
Simpler Consulting, L.P. is a leading global management consulting firm that helps companies improve processes to stimulate business-impacting results. Unlike traditional management consulting firms that specialize in developing strategy but fall short on execution, Simpler plays an active role helping clients to create an organizational culture that continuously seeks out opportunities to make improvements. With its proprietary Simpler Business System®, Simpler® has delivered the fastest and most enduring lean transformations at hundreds of organizations around the world. To learn more, visit http://www.simpler.com.
 "Where Can $700 Billion in Waste be Cut Annually From the U.S. Healthcare System?", Robert Kelley, Vice President, Healthcare Analytics, Thomson Reuters. October, 2009.
SOURCE Simpler Consulting, L.P.