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Lean in healthcare

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  1. Defining the actual process in emergency department
  2. Value desired by the patient
  3. The mudas
  4. The value stream
    1. Improve the patient wait times by analyzing the causes of an excessive waiting
    2. Improve the patient safety
    3. Increases Profits
  5. The flow
  6. The pull
  7. The perfection

Lean thinking is not a manufacturing tactic or a cost-reduction program, but a management strategy that is applicable to all organizations because it has a role in improving processes. All organizations including health care organizations- are composed of a series of processes, or sets of actions intended to create value for those who use or depend on them (customers/patients)" (Institute for Healthcare Improvement, 2005). Like any industry, Healthcare has a product to deliver (treatment of patients) and the administrative processes that support the care givers, patients, and keep it running as a business. There is huge room for improvement in both of these areas. Both the areas are interdependent and problems in one will have an impact on the other. With the lean way of thinking, we will first determine the value of the actual process by accurately specifying the value desired by the patient; then identify all steps in the process (or "value stream," in the language of lean), underline the non-value-added steps, and eliminate waste (or muda in Japanese). Finally, we will make value flow from the beginning to end based on the pull mechanism i.e. the expressed needs of the customer/patient.

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