Lean management system reduces neonatal deaths at Leratong Hospital by 42%

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The Leratong Hospital in Krugersdorp in Johannesburg has managed to reduce its neonatal deaths by 42% in 12 months using the so-called daily lean management system, reports City Press. This achievement comes as Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku visited various healthcare facilities the past month. He visited the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital that also has one of the lowest maternal and perinatal death rates in the province.

Leratong Hospital is said to have reduced neonatal deaths at the end of 2018 by 42%. Hospital CEO Grey Dube said the neonatal mortality had been reduced quite dramatically. “We went from 20.5 deaths to 11.3 and then went down to nine, over a period of 12 months. We are monitoring it on a daily basis.”

The report says figures provided by the hospital show the neonatal mortality rate at the beginning of 2017 was 26.9:1000 live births. It then dropped to 20.5:1000 by December 2017. During the 12-month period from December 2017 to December 2018 there was a further drop from 20.5:1000 to 11.3:1000. In the following six months from January 2019 until June 2019 there was yet a further drop to 9.0:1000. The 42% drop is for the period January 2017 until December 2018.

In September this year, Leratong Hospital only had two patients in the neonatal ward that had infections. Infections have been the main cause of neonatal deaths at this hospital the report says.

Dube said their successes attest to the lean management system they implemented from April 2017. They started seeing a gradual reduction in neonatal deaths after the programme was implemented and by late 2018, the changes were obvious. According to Dube, Dr John Toussaint, a former US healthcare CEO who founded a non-profit education institute Catalysis, provided Dube and several other Gauteng hospital CEOs and staff with training and education on the Lean Management System. The programme focuses on leadership and teaches workers how to think and come up with solutions to their problems.

City Press report

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