Monday, January 12, 2009

Lean Health Care making progress

Great Post today by the Lean Insider discusses successes in Health Care Emergency Rooms. I especially like two techniques mentioned:

(a) reserving space for fast tracking "minor" incidents to improve throughput. When the Health Care facility dedicates 100% of beds to "major" incidents, the entire operation gets shut down and no-one can be processed for hours.

(b) No-Wait ER by taking vital infomation bedside and starting treatment at the earliest possible stage.

As more Health Care facilities look to Lean Thinking, eliminating waste from their processes and considering patients as their "customer", we will see huge improvements here.

Two years ago, my son had a 6 hour wait for treatment for a split chin from high school sports. Two months ago my nephew waited 4 hours before transferring to another hospital 100 miles away and waiting another 3 hours before treatment, again for "minor" issues in the minds of the Health Care professionals.

I'm delighted to hear of institutions in Canada and The USA are making inroads in Lean! I'll be happy to work with them in exploring more waste elimination!

You can see the Lean Insider Post here:


1 comment:

Andrew said...

Hi Norm,
My name is Andrew Webster, and I’m with ExperiencePoint ( We’ve just released a multimedia simulation focused on change management to sustain lean initiatives in a healthcare setting. It is called Lakeview (see: and it has received positive reviews from healthcare professionals as a means to learn change management principles optional: and some lean methodology.

As a part of the launch of I can offer demonstrations, and if you contact me at and reference this posting, I can extend a free trial of the simulation.

I encourage you to check us out, and let me know if you have any questions.


NBI - Making sense of business improvement - Blogged