Momentum of Lean Healthcare Design Continues to Build


Oh geez, that's an awful pun in the post title. Sorry. As an increasing number of health systems are using “Lean design” approaches for renovating or building healthcare facilities, there are some articles, a book, and a video that I wanted to share with you.

First is a story about lean design at a hospital in California (“The Value in Lean: Applying Lean Principles at Temecula Valley Hospital“). Also see “It's the Process: How Lean strategies can streamline hospital design“).  Next is a white paper from Elsa Mersereau &  Cindy Jimmerson  (Lean Healthcare West) on “Lean for Healthcare Facility Design.”

The white paper covers four topics:

  1. Introduction to Lean for Healthcare Facility Design:   The Challenge and The Purpose
  2. Framework for Using Lean in Facility Design
  3. Lean Concepts Used in Facility Design
  4. Expected Outcomes and Lessons Learned from Lean for Facility Design

I recently saw Cindy present on this topic at the ASQ Lean and Six Sigma annual conference  (but the slides aren't publicly available). She has a lot of experience in these  methodologies, so this is well worth checking out. I will share two of her slides that define lean design – what it is and what it is not:


I'd also like to point out an upcoming book from Naida Grunden and Charles Hagood on this topic: Lean-Led Hospital Design: Creating the Efficient Hospital of the Future. This will be out soon in print form, but can already be read via the Kindle format (but only on a computer, not Kindle devices… not sure what is up with that). I'm hoping to do a podcast with Naida and Charles soon. They are also speaking about the book at the upcoming Lean Healthcare PowerDay (and I'm also speaking on Healthcare Kaizen).

Their book's website is here.

The healthcare organizations in Saskatchewan are continuing their push into Lean healthcare design. Here is their latest YouTube video:

Check out more videos from the Saskatchewan Health Region on their YouTube channel page, including:



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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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