ROK (Return on kaizen)

With ROK, targets selected in value streams and improvement workshops are immediately translated into meaningful KPIs that are further linked to cost reductions and/or evidence-based quality improvements in clinical care. These links encourage more thorough re-measures and follow-up, creating the conditions necessary for long term sustainment of improvements.

ROK is entirely evidence-based. Forecasts of improved throughput and reduced cost are all based on time and motion studies conducted by the client on its own operations. Forecasts of cost avoidance and lives saved are based upon extensively researched published findings, with references included, as well as on the client’s own small tests of change.

A lean enterprise continually reduces waste, improving its quality, safety and capacity to serve customers. When healthcare organizations adopt lean operations and management methods, they:

  • Increase access by improving throughput and reducing the time it takes clinicians and staff to provide services.
  • Improve quality and safety by instituting evidence-based standard work designed to deliver appropriate clinical outcomes.
  • Increase transparency and accountability in reporting, greatly reducing the time lapse between the discovery of defects and the implementation of effective countermeasures.

ROK speaks to clinicians in terms of lives saved, and to administrators in terms of the bottom line. It provides superior decision support to frontline managers, guiding them to pursue improvements that have greater value in terms of patient safety, clinical quality and financial stewardship. When incorporated into the process of strategy deployment (hoshin kanri), ROK can also help align organization-wide improvements with a focused set of strategic targets.