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Integrating the Lean Management Approach To Deliver Even Better Care

I wanted to share an update on Starling’s participation in the Lean Management program at Hartford Hospital. The picture below is from a recent morning where our Hospitalists were engaged in their Lean Management huddle. It is an example of the ongoing integrated efforts of our Hospitalist program as they transcend the ordinary to deliver extraordinary patient care.

The LEAN method is based on objective of maximizing customer value while minimizing waste. The method is a long-term approach that systematically seeks to achieve small, incremental changes in processes in order to improve efficiency and quality. In healthcare, ‘customers’ can mean many things including but not limited to patients, other providers (within and outside Starling), hospital and administrative staff, and vendors.

The LEAN method has been adopted by HHC and is being rolled out to all departments and hospitals. Our Hospitalist group at Hartford Hospital is currently being trained and beginning to use the method.

Using a LEAN focus board, which is posted prominently in the department and is in the photo, the Hospitalist start each day with a 15 minute huddle, during which they review three focus areas:

  • Status update: staffing census, patient census, new developments, etc.
  • Core metrics: attendance at huddle, managing patient geography in hospital to maximize staff efficiency
  • Operational opportunities: Short term (process for refilling water cooler) vs. long-term (developing process to address bigger issues)

Each project also needs to be evaluated in terms of the effort required compared with the anticipated benefits of completing the project. The focus board provides the additional advantage of keeping the departments goals and challenges in clear and consistent view for the entire team.

If you have questions about the LEAN work being done by the Starling Hospitalist Division, please contact Mitchell McClure, MD at