Process improvements have been on the rise in the healthcare industry as leaders have worked to improve quality, eliminate waste, improve patient safety, while remaining competitive in a dampening economy. Decades ago, healthcare organizations utilized Total Quality Management, continuous quality improvement, and balanced score cards as a means to survive in a highly competitive market, without any real success. In 2010, the current healthcare practices are not yet sustainable in today’s unstable economic climate, until lean was introduced. Lean, a term coined by those who compared Toyotas methods to those of other manufacturers, is an antidote that seeks to identify and eliminate waste or non-value-added work and in many ways helps to improve overall quality of care. Healthcare organizations that have successfully implemented lean and kaizen process improvements have experienced significant cost savings, improved operations, and improved overall quality in their organization. This case study was prepared to understand the effectiveness of lean and kaizen as it is subjectively experienced by participants (i.e., employees), who are the subject matter experts, at a private hospital in a northwest state. The participants consisted of subject matter experts employed at a private hospital in a northwest state. Individual interviews and observation of subject matter experts in the hospital were the only data collection methodologies utilized. Data analysis consisted of identifying common themes in participant’s individual experiences of lean methodology. Data were categorized in three categories: training and education, application of lean and kaizen principles, and lean and kaizen process improvements. Information was coded and common themes extracted to adequately answer the research questions.
|Subjects||Management; Business education; Health care management|
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