Lean healthcare – how to implement it

Dnia 14 February 2017, autor Katarzyna Złotowska

Capable and efficient managing of patient treatment process has its own source in planning internal standards in medical unit. Medical services are diversified and it is hard to create just one, gold model of patient’s care. People are changing, also their experience and approach to services, levels of management in organization and characteristics of process, as KPI (key performance indicator) are follow to by top management. Each acts are basic for working according to law regulation and patient expectations. Striving for use the best world practices in daily work is difficult aim, but thanks to that high level of process maturity can be achieved. Health care is a part of industry and based on that economic development is defined.

Process mapping

To seek for fulfill clients – patient needs, potential patient, their families and relatives it is important to take into consideration not just financial indicators of medical unit, but mostly understand client and create medical processes, which have value added activities. This is a main purpose of lean healthcare.

For the body is health, for soul justice, nowadays Socrates words are still actual and value. There is nothing better than health, which defined as harmony between each parts of body –each of them performs important function. Also justice, which dispalys in different “parts” of souls. In order to fulfill need of body and soul during treatment, medical unit has challenge. The body – having appropriate infrastructure, modern and high tech medical equipment, qualified medical staff hospital can easily conduct operation or transplant for patient recovery. On the other hand the soul – meaning as fulfillment patient expectation is tricky aspect. Do long waiting time for medical counsel influences on positive patient mood? Do renewed treatment because of mistake gives patient feel comfortable and safety? Do lack of physician time for talk with patient ensure for easy and in peace treatment? The answer is: no. Hospitals can ensure the highest level of equipment and infrastructure, having enough financial resources, but patient feelings of stay in hospital can be negative, because of wrong planned treatment system. Do we have any solution?

Lean healthcare tools

Lean healthcare is an answer for “invisible part” of unit system organization. Using adequate tools, patient flow in the process can be improved ( value stream mapping). Then hospitalization time and waiting for procedures can be reduced. Participating actively in patient communication (communication with patient) we can acquire information, that reduce potential risks in the process. Treating every patient as a uniqe individual and with respect we can gain the trust and make better cooperation between patient and staff. Then treatment effects can be also improved. At the same time new approach of all employees according to kaizen philosophy – continuous improvement gives feeling of responsibility and co-determination about the processes and system. Kaizen box – is the toll for employee to generate ideas. It can be a simple start for lean hospitals approach. Using lean healthcare – lean hospitals practices shouldn’t be perceived as additional hard part duty in work, because it is a culture of behavior which can be obtained. Thanks to that it leads to better work organization and improvement of processes.


Lean Process Katarzyna Złotowska

ul. Władysława Łokietka 5, 87-100 Toruń

NIP PL 599-305-88-22 REGON 364161132

e-mail: biuro@leanhospitals.pl tel. +48 508 238 811


* pole obowiązkowe