lean

Toyota is not lean

Written by Lindsey Dunn on September 24, 2014 for the Becker’s Hospital Review, The Daily Beat Blog

Lean and Six Sigma aren’t the answer to improving your hospital. Being like Toyota is, but that doesn’t mean the answer is gemba walks and value stream maps. Don’t let the consultants fool you.

The Lean approach to process improvement gets a lot of attention in healthcare. First appearing in the 1990s, Lean management was touted as a way to remove waste and add value to processes. The theory was largely based on the practices of Japanese carmaker Toyota, a company that, at the time, was rapidly stealing market share from U.S. competitors.

Its success, combined with its leaders’ unusual openness, made Toyota one of the most, if not the most, studied and written about organizations of its time.

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