Did you know, Narayana Health, a chain of 23 hospitals across India is one of the most affordable full-service healthcare providers in the world by applying operational excellence tools?
Pulmonary thromboendarterectomy surgery costs more than $200,000. But in this hospital, it costs around $10,000. In Narayana, surgery for head and neck cancer starts from $700. Endoscopy starts from $14, a lung transplant starts from $7,000 and a heart transplant will set a patient back only about $11,000. Narayana is said to be the most affordable hospital providing healthcare services at the most affordable prices.
The hospital has been able to get the retail cost of a heart bypass down to $2,000 which is about 98% lesser than the average costing of any regional hospital. This was only possible with the help of one important thing which was implemented in 2002 which is – assembly line surgery.
You might wonder how can assembly line be used in hospitals? They started doing this by upskilling or task shifting. The idea is the top qualified doctors do only the value adding activity, leaving simpler tasks to be done by lower-paid workers. In a hospital, this might mean that the highest paid staff—the most experienced surgeons—entered the operating theatre only to finish the most difficult and most important part of the surgery, leaving everything else to the junior doctors or well-trained nursing staff. Then the surgeon moves on to the next operating theatre to perform the same task again. They have structured the assembly line so well that preparing a next patient in US surgical theatre might take 30 minutes or more but Narayana has got the process down to less than 15 minutes.
Within a decade Narayana Healthcare had a national network and, in 2014, even opened in the Cayman Islands, in part to attract medical tourists from the U.S. Two years later, Narayana Health went public in Mumbai; it has been continuously profitable since.
Operational excellence tools and techniques are creating wonders in the healthcare and hospitality industry. And to your surprise, the hospital is still finding ways to serve the regional people the health care services at even lower rates which would help the people below poverty line to get the best of the medical services at Narayana. Assembly line has not only helped manufacturing setups, but it can create wonders in the service and hospitality sectors as well. Hence, have you started implementing operational excellence tools and techniques for phenomenal results?
Written & Compiled by Faber Priyal & Faber Mayuri