Health spending accounts for about half of most provincial budgets, and with looming deficits across Canada many health authorities are looking for ways to outsource. Enter the “lean thinking” philosophy of Ken Lum and John DeHart, co-founders of private home health-care services provider Nurse Next Door.
The Vancouver-based franchise operation has been offering medical and non-medical services since 2001 and meticulously measures everything the company does: digitally tracking the on-time performance of its almost 4,000 caregivers, charting daily satisfaction scores from clients and caregivers alike, and conducting weekly meeting at head office to discuss ways for continuous improvement.
If it sounds vaguely like 1980s management science, it is: Nurse Next Door, adapting the Six Sigma training made famous by GE, Toyota and others, has a dedicated “lean sensei” to guide the company’s quality-control efforts. In the bureaucracy-laden health-care field, Nurse Next Door’s efforts are positively revolutionary, which is why the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health authorities have recently toured their facilities in the hopes of learning more.