‘Lean’ approach to health care

See on Scoop.itlean manufacturing
This article suggests that the implementation effort is both intense — with 50% to 60% of US hospitals and health care systems having launched some form of initiative — and confused.

The featured image shows what looks like a barcode scanner pointed at a prescription bag with no barcode. Is that what Lean is about?
While the title only refers to “Lean,” the content gives equal billing to Six Sigma, implying that both have had a comparable impact in Manufacturing.
The second picture shows nurses and administrative staff around a reception desk, suggesting that Lean is not about doctors and patients, but just about efficiency in support activities.

Patient experience is barely mentioned. A manager reports that UMass Memorial has reduced waiting times, which sounds great, but a nurse reports spending less time with each patient, which does not sound so great.
There is no mention of improvement in the quality of care, for example, by prevention of treatment errors, that one would expect out of Lean.

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2 comments on “‘Lean’ approach to health care

  1. Comment in LinkedIn Updates:

    Not unlike the early days of Lean in manufacturing, healthcare is working to figure out what Lean is, how it works, and the culture surrounding continuous improvement. We’re doing our best, but it will certainly take awhile.

  2. Even though these may be late days in Manufacturing, I am not sure that the industry has yet figured out, as you put it, “what Lean is, how it works, and the culture surrounding continuous improvement”…

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