Lean Healthcare

Mock-up of Toyota assembly line

My wife works at a local hospital that has implemented 5S, which is the Toyota model of management of resources (sorting, efficiency, cleanliness, standardization, and discipline). No, this is not treating patients like cars – it is a matter of having what you need when you need it (but not too much of it) and cutting out unnecessary steps in your job, which allows them not only to spend more time with patients but also reduces frustration (and improves the hospital’s overall efficiency and productivity without compromising patient satisfaction). After dinner with friends tonight (one of whom is an MD), I decided to look into this more, so I’m checking out some books from our local library to see how the concepts could be applied to my setting. As I read a book I may post tidbits from it, but I would encourage you to consider how you could spend your time more efficiently which ultimately allows you to spend more time with patients (for me, not having to chase around for a FWW, a BP cuff or O2 sat monitor, filing/ copying/ faxing, etc.).

A few links:

Virginia Mason’s experience of the Toyota way

LeanBlog

About 5S in general

Example with finding a clean wheelchair

YouTube video of system in the UK

Photo credit: Mock-up of Toyota assembly line, originally uploaded by urbangarden

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One response to “Lean Healthcare

  1. Lean Six Sigma is a book along the same lines.
    ~Snippets

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