Chapter 13

A Vision for a Lean Hospital and Health System


So far, we have seen the roots of Lean thinking: Henry Ford, W. Edwards Deming, and Toyota, among others. The core concepts, philosophies, tools, and leadership styles have been defined and introduced. We have shared real examples of health systems that have already used these methods to make improvements that matter for the patients, employees, physicians, and hospitals. The questions that are sure to follow are “How do I get there?” and “What will I look like when I’m done?”

First, there is no “done” or “there” as a final destination with Lean. There is always a problem to solve, a waste to eliminate, and a new form of value-adding work to create. After about 70 years of ...

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