Chapter 7

The Three Value Streams of American Healthcare Experiences

A “value stream” is a useful metaphor for the invisible activities of an organization that produces products or services. The term “value” points to whether the steps in a process are useful in accomplishing the goals of the process. The image of a stream brings to mind flowing water moving from point to point continuously in a smooth motion. In manufacturing and other industries, the concept a process consisting of steps that move smoothly along has been a powerful image of production. Its most graphic representations in the early twentieth century were the conveyor belt and assembly line. Henry Ford’s assembly line pulled the car along as workers assembled the vehicle. ...

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