The Positive Trend of “Lean Design” of Space & Processes in Healthcare
It's been nice to see the “lean design” approach taking hold in healthcare the past few years. I think the first book on the subject was a “manifesto” by an architect, David Chambers: Efficient Healthcare – Overcoming Broken Paradigms
My good friend Naida Grunden has a new book out next year called Lean-Led Hospital Design: Creating the Efficient Hospital of the Future and I was able to contribute an essay for the last part of the book. There is also come material on the work done by Seattle Children's Hospital in their book Leading the Lean Healthcare Journey: Driving Culture Change to Increase Value.
Mike Wroblewski, who you might know from his blog “Got Boondoggle?,” is now with the Kaizen Institute and they have posted an introductory lean design, or “3P” video that's part of their Gemba Academy subscription series. Mike provides a nice introduction:
I've been doing some consulting work recently in this area, working with alongside hospital staff members and managers, architects, and construction companies. This work is sometimes done under the banner of “Integrated Project Delivery.”
Lean design is a very iterative process, one that engages front-line staff in creating space and processes that are amazingly patient centered and staff friendly. The entire cross-disciplinary team works to understand the work being done (and patient needs) and they then work through a series of mockups that allow refinements and improvements to be made BEFORE the building is actually built.
There's been a flood of articles recently related to Lean design and construction:
- ThedaCare updates on track: Health care provider says $90 million in upgrades designed to last
- At long last, a new hospital (Saskatchewan)
- Methodist Selects OB Hospital Build Team
- The Nation's Newest Hospital is Open to Patients (New Jersey)
And here's a video about lean healthcare design in Saskatchewan, from the Saskatoon Health Region (again with an appearance from Mike Wroblewski).
Also, check out this video about the patient-centered lean design at the Park Nicollet outpatient cancer treatment center:
You can also check out the series of video interviews I did on lean healthcare design I did with St. Joseph Mercy Health System and The Neenan Company.
As I wrote in the essay for Naida's book, we have to be cautious about architects or others using “Lean” as an empty buzzword. If staff members aren't deeply engaged in the process, it would be an example of “L.A.M.E.” instead of Lean.
What do you see going on out there with lean design in healthcare? How would this be helpful to your organization?