Thanks to Rob G. (from the UK) for pointing this out to me. There's a great push for lean in the UK NHS. It's even getting attention from Tony Blair, which has to be encouraging. When do we get such a high-visibility push for lean healthcare in the U.S.? The PBS documentary & DVD could help, if we can get it in the hands of the right people.
It's interesting to me that Tesco, famously profiled in Lean Thinking and Lean Solutions, is held up as the standard for lean in Great Britain. Good for them! Of course, Toyota is mentioned, but people can always relate better to a local company.
There is a lot of good data and case studies in the article, one highlight:
“One hospital trying the “lean” approach, a production methodology first developed about 60 years ago by Toyota, found that processing a routine blood sample involved 309 separate steps, which it reduced to 57 with simple changes. They also found that under the current system more than 250 different interactions took place to discharge a patient with complex health problems.”
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