New Simpler Healthcare(SM) Book Details The Use Of Lean Management To Transform Patient Care

Book looks at how health systems around the world have improved patient outcomes and reduced costs

Jul 16, 2012, 09:00 ET from Simpler Consulting, L.P.

PITTSBURGH, July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Simpler® Consulting, L.P., a leading global management consulting firm, today announced the release of a new book, Simpler Healthcare(SM). The book, authored by Simpler Chief Executive Officer Marc S. Hafer, details how six hospitals have applied Lean healthcare concepts to transform operations, improve patient outcomes, reduce costs and increase patient and staff satisfaction.

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According to a report from Thompson Reuters, 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.

"The Simpler Healthcare book provides real world examples from healthcare organizations across the globe that have undergone cultural transformations that relentlessly define value in the eyes of their patients to cut costs and improve patient care," said Hafer. "The book truly demonstrates that any hospital—regardless of its size or location—can truly benefit from Lean management."

(Check out Marc Hafer's video interview to learn more about the book.)

During the past six years, Simpler Consulting has worked with more than 80 health systems around the world in leading enterprise-wide transformations that have resulted in creating a patient-centric culture. Simpler Healthcare follows the work of Alder Hey Children's Foundation Trust in Liverpool, England; Denver Health; New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation; Royal Bolton Hospital in England; St. Joseph's Health System in Orange, Calif.; and Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore. Readers will learn how each hospital adapted Simpler Consulting's proven systematic change methodology to their local conditions, unleashed untapped creativity and transformed patient care without compromising quality.  Highlights from the health systems' Lean transformations include:

  • Alder Hey Children's Foundation Trust reduced patient flow time to under 3.5 hours from 7.5 hours, increased surgical day care capacity from 26 to 40 cases per day, and increased medical day care capacity from 13 to 19 cases per day.
  • Denver Health realized a $150 million financial benefit since the beginning of its Lean transformation, while dramatically improving patient care. For example, the hospital reduced the occurrence of blood clots in hospitalized patients by nearly 80 percent.
  • New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation found new revenue of $14.1 million and achieved cost savings of $6.8 million—a total of $20 million—in the first 18 months of its Lean transformation.
  • Royal Bolton Hospital achieved substantial results in clinical case and efficiency in its stroke rehabilitation unit, dropping the mortality rate for patients with acute stroke from 122 to 99.
  • St. Joseph's Health System transformed patient flow and work processes, resulting in patient satisfaction reaching nearly 95 percent, up from 85 percent, while improving staff morale significantly.
  • Tan Tock Seng Hospital reduced length of stay by up to 43 percent across different conditions and achieved a 37 percent improvement in the turnaround time for imaging tests like ultrasound/CT scans.

"At the onset of America's most recent economic turndown, Denver Health was faced with an increase in uninsured patients and decreased revenues," said Patricia Gabow, M.D., CEO of Denver Health. "Denver Health was one of the first health systems to adopt Lean in an effort to uphold our commitment to providing all patients with the highest quality of care. As a result, Denver Health has transformed our delivery of care, and we are proud to report that we have the lowest morality rate of any academic medical center in the country."

To learn more about Lean management or to receive a copy of Simpler Healthcare, visit

About the Author

Marc Hafer joined Simpler® Consulting as a senior consultant in 2002, bringing his skills as a gifted teacher and visionary leader to the organization, and quickly rose through the ranks, eventually becoming President of Simpler North America in 2007 and CEO of Simpler Holdings in 2009. His experience in Lean transformation ranges from manufacturing companies that produce high-volume, standard products to entrepreneurial organizations creating lower volume, custom engineered products. He has successfully applied Lean principles throughout entire enterprises, from shop floor manufacturing to office administrative/engineering functions and field construction crews. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and volunteers in support of industry organizations such as the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, the Shingo Prize, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

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 create an organizational culture that continuously seeks out opportunities to make improvements. With its proprietary Simpler Business System®, Simpler Sensei have delivered the fastest and most enduring Lean transformations at more than 80 healthcare networks around the world. To learn more, visit



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