This week’s reading discusses lean production and defines it as:
Lean (also known as Lean Production, Lean Enterprise, and Lean Thinking) involves a set of principles, practices and methods for designing, improving and managing processes. The development of Lean is attributed to Taiichi Ohno’s articulation of the Toyota Production System. Ohno aimed to improve efficiency by eliminating particular kinds of waste (called muda, in Japanese) which absorb time and resources but do not add value (Ohno T. Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production. Productivity Press; New York: 1988. Original Japanese edition published in 1978 by Diamond Press).
In health care, there are many practices that could be considered time wasters under the definition of “lean processes”, however, since we are a service industry, we have to consider things a bit differently. When we spend time developing relationships with patients and families, it might be considered wasted time, but these activities are extremely important to our patients and customers. How do you think that we can practice lean processes while still assuring that our patients feel valued and attended to?.