The Lean approach was invented by Toyota. It has since been rolled out to all of its factories and support departments. Toyota’s goal was to produce more vehicles faster. Toyota wanted to lower its development and production costs in a highly competitive environment: the automotive market. It is now one of the only brands that produces and sells its models around the world.
Hospitals face other constraints: the global shortage of nurses does not make everyday work easier. The Lean approach is then a quality service issue, since it will improve both the patient service and the working conditions of the staff.
An lean healthcare succesful example
CSSS (Center for Health and Social Services) Val D’Or has just published two press releases on the subject (french only). A first explains the results obtained in his emergency service. The Lean approach has reduced waiting time to less than 3 hours for 70% of users. While others still have to wait less than 5 hours. The approach focused on different aspects, such as the division of tasks between the different parties involved. It also considered the spatial organization of the services using a flow analysis.
These results are encouraging. The CSSS indicates in its second press release its intention to deploy the approach to all of these services.
Setting up Lean Healthcare is a time-consuming process. If management has decided to implement it throughout the CSSS, it is that the return on investment is excellent.
Return on investment: energy spent for implementation vs gains in quality of service and improvement of working conditions. It is more difficult to measure with qualitative impacts.
Continuous improvement can be applied in industry (Lean Manufacturing), services (Lean Office) or health centers (Lean Healthcare), the approach and the tools remain similar.