Hospital lean 'myths' questioned

Hospital consultant says standardization actually leads to better outcomes

May 14, 2014

A hospital consultant said standardization actually leads to better outcomes. In fact, improved outcomes at Seattles's Virginia Mason Medical Center show that lean works just as well in healthcare as it does in manufacturing, according to an article on the Star Phoenix website. 

While some fear the lean emphasis on "standard work" stifles innovation, Paul Plsek, a consultant with Virginia Mason, quoted a surgeon saying standardization actually leads to better outcomes.

The key is for a hospital's standard work flow to always be improved with further innovations, and nothing ever becomes "the way we've always done it," Plsek said

To the criticism that lean ignores the human element of care, he said lean actually defines value from the customer's — or in this case the patient's — perspective.

Read the article.



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