Lean design in healthcare

What does it mean to use lean design principles for healthcare? When creating a new space, traditional design puts the focus solely be on the needs of the physicians and staff and how they operate with in a space. It also usually involves the architects designing a space based on what they know, and what has worked in the past. At Retina Specialists of Michigan we decided to turn traditional building design on its head, and with the help of AMDG architects and FlowOne Lean consulting did just that in designing and building our new office space. It was an opportunity for improvement that we couldn’t ignore. Lean methods seek to understand shared goals, and traditional thoughts of knowledge, effort, and work are broken down and built up to be the most efficient that it can be for the work that needs to be done. Our goals were to improve communication, reduce wait time, improve efficiency, and allow for more quality time with our patients.  

What does this mean for you?  

That your experience as a patient has been integral in the thought and layout of our building. We did a study in our old office on Leonard street on how many steps are staff and patients were taking through their visit. And then we vowed to reduce that number. We incorporated you into the design process even though you weren’t actually there in our meetings. By putting ourselves in your shoes as the patient and how you experience healthcare, we were able to change the design paradigm and bring your experience on equal footing. We wanted to bring value to you, and that was defined, created, and delivered through the process. 

What do the results look like?  

The modern building at 5030 Cascade road SE in Grand Rapids is the proof that your experience at Retina Specialists of Michigan will differ from any other ophthalmologist’s office you’ve been to before. We’ve designed our exam rooms to be closer to the waiting area and diagnostic testing equipment, so you less distance to walk. We also created a central hub for our technicians and physicians to help improve communication between staff, keep supplies close at hand, and eliminate wasted steps when ready to see patients. We’ve designed things to be flexible, changing to meet the unique needs of every patient. As a result, wait times have decreased by 74%. Distance traveled by new patients fell by 65 steps. And patient satisfaction has improved by 15%. Productivity and capacity have improved to allow us to see more patients and to make sure that emergency visits don’t derail our day. Give us a call at (616) 954-2020 to schedule your visit with us and see exactly how we put you first.