In reality, Lean is just the opposite. Healthcare facilities, large and small, can use the Toyota Production System to make many simple changes that add up to huge gains in revenue and patient satisfaction.
One Lean Leader who really lives out this core concept of Kaizen is Ngaire Woodroffe Brown. As the director of the Wascana Rehab Centre in Saskatchewan, she shaved 15 hours of lead time from inpatient care delivery processes. Additionally, her team gained an extra seven minutes of face time with patients just by reducing the number of steps the staff had to travel to and from patient rooms and supply stocks.
In an interview with me in 2015, Woodroffe Brown emphasized the lessons from Wascana’s Lean transformation:
- “It’s not all about technology” Woodroffe Brown implemented no new technology—her team made more efficient use of the resources they already had.
- “Take it one step at a time” Taken as a whole, Lean can seem daunting. Taken step-by-step, the changes seem obvious.
- “People are the foundation” Your staff knows where the trouble areas are. Listen to them.
- “Keep it simple” Clean supplies. Manuals in the correct place. Never underestimate the power of the simple things that make sure personnel can flow without worrying about materials.
Watch Woodroffe Brown's interview below: