What is takt time?

Health care, I’m often told, is different. This usually means, ‘different from industry’, and certainly different from car making. This is true, of course. In health care it is often the interaction of staff and patient that carries the greatest value. Generating the time and space for this to happen, and making sure that the…

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…

Standard Processes

There are published examples of the use of Lean in many types of health care. There are fewer descriptions of the use of Lean in mental health, but they are beginning to appear. Kislinsky and Younger, from St Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, Ontario, have produced a useful description of work to improve flow in an acute…

Lean: Perfection, or Incremental Improvement?

Linda LaGanga, who works in a community mental health service in Denver, has written a useful summary of her service’s experience of applying Lean. Their use of Lean is shaped by the economic context of US health care, but there are several useful lessons in their work. The Mental Health service’s interest in Lean began,…