Primary Care Collaborative Project Making a Difference
For the last six months, a Cone Health team has been helping employees at LeBauer HealthCare at Guilford/Jamestown find ways to simplify and improve their daily work. The goal is to give patients a better overall experience and to improve their health outcomes – from the initial appointment to any follow-up care needed.
The work has already paid off. Since last September, the practice has made dramatic improvements on the scorecard used by Medicare to evaluate patient care, achieving 90th percentile ranking for fall-risk assessment and bundled diabetic care. Through the development of Standard Work – defined as the best-known way of doing the work today – registration errors have been cut to zero. In addition, time to get a patient to the exam room has been cut in half, and physicians have reduced or eliminated the amount of work they are taking home.
Launched in March 2014, the Primary Care Collaborative Project is taking a page from manufacturing and other industries by using “Lean” concepts to help employees evaluate their current ways of working and see what can be improved. Jules Guilbeau, project director, says the Lean approach starts with eliminating work that doesn’t add value to patient care.
“From the patient’s perspective, the best scenario is a seamless flow for their entire experience within the practice,” Guilbeau says. “If we can eliminate the wastes in our daily work, it frees up our people to be dedicated to patient needs, including giving the doctor more time with the patient during the visit.”