As health care continues to change and new models of care are introduced, food and nutrition services managers will need to consider innovative approaches to improve productivity that are consistent with their individual health care organization’s vision and mission. Use of process improvement tools such as Lean and Six Sigma as strategies for evaluating and improving food and nutrition services efficiency should be considered. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015;115:1141-1147
Food and nutrition services administrators are being continually challenged to improve the productivity of their operations. This pressure will likely increase with the uncertainty in the health care field created by the Affordable Care Act and changing models for health care services. Traditional single-factor measures of productivity that linked a single input and output continue to be used by food and nutrition services administrators to assess various productivity outcomes in their units. Such measures provide a way for internal trend tracking, but are likely less effective comparisons with other institutions because of the increased complexity and uniqueness of individual departments. The use of multifactor productivity measures has been reported, but because of complexities in use, these have not been widely adopted. Combining multiple productivity measure when assessing operations can help managers better address the polarity in values that often exist in operational decisions. Use of internal benchmarking is encouraged because it provides a way for food and nutrition services managers to monitor and track operational improvements over time. Managers should also consider use of process improvement tools such as Lean and Six Sigma as strategies for evaluating and improving the efficiency of food and nutrition services.
- FROM THE ACADEMY PRACTICE PAPER| VOLUME 115, ISSUE 7, P1141-1147, JULY 01, 2015