CBC on Lean in Saskatchewan Hospitals


I've been to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan before — in February. It was a very cold, snowy place, to say the least! But, there are many warm, caring people who are using Lean management to improve the hospital working environment and patient care.

The CBC news had a nice story (with video):  Simple hospital innovation saves time, money.

The story shows how nurses have been engaged to organize supply rooms and linen carts. As the reporter asks, is it really a big deal to save a few feet and steps here and there? The woman being interviewed says that time really adds up throughout the day. Why weren't nurses engaged before in improving their workplace? They just didn't have time, she says.

Toyota, the Japanese auto giant, pioneered the concept of lean management in manufacturing, where employees look for efficiencies both big and small that don't compromise the product but save the company time and money.

The piece also talks about improvements to the blood banking flow (wasting less blood and getting fresher blood to patients).

Brad Wall, the Premier of the province, is quoted in the story about the power of Lean management. It's great to see such high-level officials involved in the Lean process.

The story also features Trish Livingstone (you might know here from Twitter, where I often retweet the updates she posts).

Also referenced in the piece was some of their Lean design work for new hospital construction. Stories online include:

You can also read their inaugural Lean newsletter.


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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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