I recently read an article from Modern Medicine Network in their Medical Economics section that talked about how a manufacturing process can transform healthcare delivery. What surprises me is that the article is five years old and yet most healthcare organizations have not heard of this concept: lean healthcare. The Toyota Production System is a transferable lean methodology designed to remove waste from any system. Yes, people are not widgets and yes, everything a practice does is for the patient. However, it is not the who but the how that has waste. How things are done, the processes, and the way in which work is viewed as a system rather than an individual task. And my favorite part: the value of the people doing the work. Healthcare, after all, is a service for people and provided by people.
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