The way that oncology care is organized influences both outcomes and expenses. Disorganized and uncoordinated care can harm patients and contributes to unsustainable expenses. In the current healthcare landscape, cost of care is under a microscope and providers are under pressure to improve quality, reduce cost and increase efficiency.
Although a definitive answer on the ideal care delivery model is uncertain, the Lean approach is an increasingly popular strategy for delivering healthcare. Lean methodology focuses on the concept of “continuous improvement”; a long-term approach that seeks to achieve small, incremental process changes to improve efficiency and quality while reducing cost and waste. Although this method did not originate in healthcare and may not be the best way to improve the care of complex oncology patients, it may be the best method for addressing the current challenges oncologists face.
In this article from the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Dr. Chadi Nabhan, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions, explains how Lean methodology can create value for patients by streamlining episodes of care and adding value to their interactions with providers.