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To improve the delivery of patient care, governments and healthcare institutions adopted quality improvement methods that had been developed decades earlier in manufacturing industries. Many healthcare practitioners are either unaware or are inexperienced about what these practices entail and whether they are successful in healthcare. This article reviews Lean, an improvement philosophy made famous by the Toyota Motor Company. Lean uses a set of instruments and incorporates a long-term vision aiming for continuous improvement. It focuses on eliminating waste as perceived by the patient, thereby maximizing quality and safety for the patient. However, the effort required for the attainment of Lean's goals is often not appreciated. Indeed, successful and sustainable implementation requires immense institutional culture change combined with innovative leadership and motivated frontline healthcare professionals.
PMID: 29909284 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]