Canada - English


  • Industry: Public Sector (PS), Federal Government, Provincial Government, Health & Life Sciences
  • Type: White paper
  • Date: 7/1/2013

Breaking through the wall - Removing the barriers to Lean transformation 

Many leaders within the healthcare sector have applied the principles of Lean manufacturing to their operations – with varying degrees of success.


As this report shows, some hospitals have managed to sustain early accomplishments and make remarkable advances in efficiency, patient care, staff satisfaction and cost reduction, year after year.

Breaking through the wall
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The early achievements of applying Lean principles to healthcare have been useful but often fragmented efforts, creating islands of improvement in the short-term but failing to deliver lasting benefits. If Lean is to realize its potential, it has to be adopted on a broader basis to become ‘the way we do things around here’ rather than just a series of projects.


For this to happen, Lean needs to become part of the daily work of frontline staff and managers. A number of organizations are moving in this direction by creating daily improvement huddles where teams brainstorm new ideas, broadcast performance results within each unit, and ensure senior leaders spend more time at the frontline.


Again, these advances – while positive – lack coherence. Long-term success can only come through an integrated management system that supports frontline engagement, root cause problem solving and continuous improvement.



Georgina H. Black

Georgina H. Black

National Industry Leader, Health & Life Sciences


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