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
    Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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