Do you care about supporting high quality healthcare and maximizing the impact of your donation? Kupona Foundation’s implementing partner CCBRT is unique in its dedication to adopting lean healthcare principles. This is a differentiator.

The core idea of Lean is to maximize patient/client value while minimizing waste. Simply put, Lean means creating more value for patients/clients without adding additional resources. A Lean organization understands patient/client value and focuses its key processes to continuously increase value. For a non-governmental organization (NGO) in East Africa, Lean approaches can deliver significant process improvement.

Michael Grogan, John and Sue Toussaint and Erwin Telemans

Michael Grogan, John and Sue Toussaint and Erwin Telemans at the Lean Healthcare Conference

In a recent visit to Brussels for the Lean Healthcare Conference, our Leadership Development Coach Michael Grogan gained inspiration from leaders in the field promoting Lean principles in health facilities to improve the quality of care for patients. As CCBRT continues along its own Lean journey, Michael summarizes the lessons he took away from the conference, and gives us some insight into the future of lean at CCBRT.

The Lean Healthcare Conference was the first of its kind to be held in Europe. It brought together organizations and leaders from across Europe, North America and the Middle East that are committed to applying the scientific method of problem solving and other lean management principles to the healthcare industry, working to improve patient safety and quality of service.  CCBRT was the only representative from Africa. CCBRT started its Lean Journey in November 2012, and is one of few facilities in Sub-Saharan Africa that is adopting this method of improvement. I attended the conference with Erwin Telemans, CCBRT’s CEO, to build partnerships and learn from other facilities who have been doing this for a lot longer than we have.

“CCBRT is one of few facilities in Sub-Saharan Africa that is adopting this method of improvement”

John Toussaint, CEO of Thedacare Center for Healthcare Value, an organization dedicated to spreading lean thinking in healthcare, was a particular inspiration to me. His insights into how lean management is working in healthcare around the world gave me a lot of food for thought. Simplicity is the key to ensuring that our staff can engage with the principles we are advocating, and giving them concrete examples of success is the best way to inspire them to implement the methods in their own departments. Inspired by John’s key note speech, I will now be working with the CCBRT Executive Committee to create a ‘model cell’ for lean management, establishing one department as a beacon of best practice that other teams can look to for guidance and advice. We spend a lot of time training our teams on the principles of lean, and giving them practical ways to introduce these principles into their everyday lives, but we haven’t yet focused on providing a tangible example of ‘what good looks like.’ This is our next step, and I think it will make our lean journey more successful.

Following our meeting during the conference, John agreed to visit CCBRT for a week to assess our needs and explore opportunities for a knowledge exchange. CCBRT benefits greatly from experts who can make time to join us on the ground in Dar es Salaam and share their insights. I hope this is the beginning of a strong long-term partnership with Thedacare and other lean healthcare experts who are willing to join our efforts to become the first truly lean hospital in Sub Saharan Africa!

– Michael Grogan, CCBRT Leadership Development Coach

Interested in reading more? CCBRT was featured on in August 2013.

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