Lean Strategies Save a New Hampshire Hospital from Financial Ruin

Peter L. Gosline

According to an article on the blog FierceHealthcare, the 2009 ice storm that hit the state of New Hampshire created a crisis for the Monadnock Community Hospital. As a result the 25-bed critical access hospital faced a huge deficit. “I had to pull a rabbit out of a hat,” recalled hospital President and CEO Peter L. Gosline (pictured right) in an exclusive interview with FierceHealthcare shortly before he retired this month as head of the Petersborough-based hospital. “And I didn’t want to do a layoff.”

Gosline found his rabbit with Lean Six Sigma. The approach had been applied with some success in a limited way in the hospital’s lab department and Gosline and his team decided to deploy the approach hospital-wide. Now, five years later, Gosline credits Lean Six Sigma for saving the organization $1 million per year. Perhaps equally important, the savings were achieved while improving the patient experience.

The business management strategy addresses process flow and waste issues, while focusing on variation and design to promote business and operational excellence. The hospital worked with an outside firm to identify what the organization wanted to achieve, provided selected managers with “lean training” and then created five hospital “work out” teams that met five times over a 120-day period.

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Author: Thomas Pyzdek

Consultant, author, owner of The Pyzdek Institute