Continuous Process Improvement in the Healthcare Sector

Senior (College 4th year) ・Healthcare&Medicine ・APA ・2 Sources

Healthcare is one of the most dynamic and demanding sectors in America. Medical facilities have to ensure that there is a continuous process improvement and to enhance the quality of healthcare to their patients. Continuous process improvement, sometimes abbreviated as CPI, refers to ongoing actions and efforts aimed at enhancing quality, reducing waste, and improving the efficiency and quality of services and products by detecting problems, recommending corrective measures and monitoring the effectiveness of those measures. The areas which are required to be improved in the healthcare system include staff development, service delivery and facility improvement (“Why Continuous Process Improvement is so Valuable to the Healthcare Industry”, 2015).

The world is witnessing rapid advancements in technology that are influencing the healthcare industry in more ways than one. With technology and new machines introduced in the medical setting, medical facilities have to put in place measures to use them efficiently and ensure patients get the highest quality of care. The CPI thus helps the medical facilities to cope with and optimize changes in emerging technology and medical equipment and results in improved quality of service delivery.

CPI also helps medical center eliminate wastes in the healthcare sector including excess use of paperwork and unnecessary tasks that increase workload and induce burnout in nurses and doctors. Having a continuous process improvement mechanism in place enhances the ability of medical centers to focus on activities that add value and improve quality in the healthcare sector.

Why are costs so high in health care?

The cost of health care in America is the highest among the most developed nations in the world. Every year, Americans have to dig deeper into their pockets to have an access to health care.  Unfortunately, the quality, access and efficiency of health services do not match the prices people pay in the health sector. The high cost of health care in the country can be attributed to various factors. One such factor is the use of costly diagnostic tests and procedures to treat diseases; these procedures are in most cases equally or less effective compared to the cheaper ones. There is also an increased cost of pharmaceutical products, medical devices and procedures. According to the National Institute of Health Policy, America's spending on drugs grew by double figures reaching $ 120 million from 1995 to 2000. We also have wasteful spending in the healthcare sector on inappropriate and unneeded medical procedures that drive up the cost of health care.

Furthermore, Americans lead unhealthy lifestyles which put them at risk of contracting chronic medical conditions like heart diseases and diabetes. Such conditions are expensive to treat and increase the cost of health care. Other factors include high administrative cost and an ageing American workforce (Mark 2016).  Administrative expenses entail spending made by insurance providers on other things than payment to health facilities. Such costs include payment in form of salaries to insurance company employees. According to estimates by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an ageing workforce will constitute about 22 percent of the entire labor force by the year 2022.  An increase in the ageing workforce will force the government to spend more to accommodate an increasing number; this is obviously expected to increase the cost of health care (Mark 2016).

Healthcare in the US is costly and is likely to remain so if urgent measures are taken by the government. CPI is key to addressing not just the cost of healthcare but also the quality of services provided. It helps healthcare organizations to identify areas that need changes and proposes strategies to implement the changes.


Mark Mack (2016). What Drives Rising Health-Care Costs. Government Finance Review. Retrieved Jul. 7, 2017, from

Why Continuous Process Improvement is so Valuable to the Healthcare Industry (2015). The Leadingedge Group. Retrievied Jul. 7, 2017, from

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