Old Gilbreth Studies in Health Care

The following comes from Jeff, a Lean Blog reader from Vermont:


Love the blog…I look/read every day. Keep up the good work!

You may have seen this already, but here is a link to the original films of Frank Gilbreth. One of the things he worked on was motion study in the operating room. The story I heard about it was that he was showing the success he had with his bricklaying system, and someone said it would never work for surgery. So he setup his motion study apparatus in an operating room, and filmed an actual procedure (I hope the guy lived….it doesn’t look good for him!).

I don’t see that Frank or Lillian Gilbreth published much on motion study for health care, but my understanding is that their work formed many of the roles and responsibilities of the various players in the operating room. They were very active in motion study for handicapped soldiers returning from WWI.

Thought you might find this interesting and useful in your training. No sound so easy to show on your laptop. Worth downloading the higher res files, but this appears to be a slow server so something good to sleep on.

The 2nd half of film 2 has the surgery stuff:


Lean certainly is not new! If you like this vintage footage, there are some other good applications of lean production in the WWII movies posted on this site, particularly the B29 “bomber an hour” factory.


Thanks Jeff!

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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an book titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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