Prof. Miroslav Harjaček,MD PhD
Prof. Miroslav Harjaček MD PhD

Within the EU and around the world, hospital executives are facing increasing pressure to reduce operating costs and improve quality of care. Hospitals that fare best will be those that become efficient operators and reduce waste in their clinical care. Efforts are underway in many places to reduce waste, improve efficiency, and maintain quality. In a broad sense, waste can be considered as any activity or resource in a Hospital that does not add value to a patient. Examples include wasted materials, delays and waiting, processes that are not important to the service user, and duplication of work.The Hospital Inpatient Waste Identification Tool developed by IHI provides a systematic method for hospital frontline clinical staff, members of the financial team, and leaders to identify clinical and operational waste and subsequently prioritize and implement waste reduction initiatives that will result in cost savings for the organization.  The IHI identified three broad categories of clinical and operational waste;adverse events and complications, inappropriate use of clinical services and delays and lack of care coordination.This led to the design of the waste identification tool, which provides a snapshot of actual and potential areas of waste within a hospital.The tool consists of five modules — Ward Module, Patient Care Module, Diagnosis Module, Treatment Module, and Patient Module — that qualitatively identify opportunities for waste reduction. Each module includes clearly articulated waste types, worksheets, and instructions. The Hospital Inpatient Waste Identification Tool is designed to provide a snapshot of potential areas of waste within a hospital, as identified by frontline clinical staff. Once this snapshot is obtained, representatives of the hospital’s frontline clinical staff, finance department, and leadership engage in a process of enriched review and analysis of the findings to prioritize and implement waste reduction initiatives.