Adaptation of lean methodologies for health care applications

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Heather Woodward
Assistant Professor
Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI)

Deanna Suskovich
Affiliated Researcher

Jamie Workman-Germann
Associate Professor

Susan Scachitti
Associate Professor
Purdue University Calumet

The IUPUI School of Engineering and Technology, in partnership with Sister of St. Francis Health Services (SSFHS), has developed and implemented a lean Six Sigma training program that includes training in basic and advanced lean methodologies. Through the development of this training program, we have adapted traditional lean methodologies for health care specific applications.

The presentation will discuss the adaptation of traditional manufacturing-based lean methodologies for health care applications, including a discussion of adapted health care lean principles, examples of lean health care improvement projects, and a hands-on exercise to demonstrate application of lean tools such as value stream mapping, 5S, and visual controls to an inpatient unit supplies area. This exercise was developed from a critical care unit stockroom improvement project that reduced nursing time to locate supplies and equipment by 50 percent. The results from this project will also be presented. To date, we have trained over 100 team members across the 12 SSFHS system hospitals utilizing these methodologies.