Bypass and Baton Pass Zones

Flow is a key issue in Lean services. Moving away from batching and towards one piece flow is a good place to start. This is often combined with levelling. In levelling you smooth flow and  even out the peaks and troughs in demand. In effect you convert uneven demand in to level operations. This can…

Using 5S in health care – guest post by Jane Howe

In a recent post “With Lean, how big is too big?” Cameron discusses the problems of a large-scale Lean implementation in health care provision in Saskatchewan. He suggests the issues are about context, preparation, style, scale and sustainability. I think these categories are applicable to most if not all Lean implementations, regardless of size. Take my own…

Who Produces Change?

I had the chance recently to talk about Lean to medical students visiting from another European country. A colleague delivered a good introduction to Lean, focusing on waste, 5S and quality improvement science. Some of the students were clearly unconvinced. My colleague hit the nail on the head by asking the students if they would…

Book Review: ‘Lean-Led Hospital Design’ by Naida Grunden and Charles Hagood

In most health care systems, we introduce Lean into a system that already exists. In the case of hospitals, this means that you have to work within the constraints of an existing building. This usually introduces limitations – you cannot move operating theatres, or linear accelerators, for example. This is not a deal-breaker: Lean is built around continuous improvement, so incremental…