What is Lean Healthcare?

Lean healthcare is when a facility in the medical industry adopts lean ideas in order to minimize waste. Lean ideas are widely used in manufacturing, warehousing, and other industries, and expanding the concepts into the healthcare field can be very successful. While the specific way that healthcare companies can use lean concepts will vary significantly based on what types of services are provided.

The idea of eliminating waste is not something new to healthcare. Most hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other facilities have been trying to cut back on waste for years. Using the lean methodologies, however, is something that is much newer and starting to catch on. Anyone who is implementing lean strategies will look at every process, procedure, and task that takes place in a facility and tries to find ways to get it to run more efficiently.

In medical facilities, there is often a lot of waste in the form of excess motion of employees, excess wasted materials, and more. In the healthcare industry, one of the most important types of waste to try to eliminate is that of safety hazards. When someone is injured due to an accident or mistake, it should be seen as a form of waste because the healthcare facility will have to help the person, possibly pay them money, and much more. By making the facility as safe as possible, a healthcare company can operate with far less waste, which benefits everyone.

One last component of lean health care is the idea of continuous improvement. Healthcare facilities should always be looking for ways to improve the services they provide and make them more effective and less wasteful, which will allow the organization to be more efficient.


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