Having blogged yesterday about ‘lean service’, quite coincidently the Daily Telegraph has a full page article explaining the application of lean in the Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle. This is because Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, visited there in March and identified it as a model the NHS in the UK could follow. In summary, the hospital has looked in detail at the Toyota Production System, and in collaboration with TPS experts, has developed their own system. Japanese concepts and terminology are therefore common place in the hospital – such as sensei, kaizen, gemba and muda.
Some of the outcomes of this referred to in the article are:
- 800 to 1,000 safety alerts per month
- a reduction in patient complaints and lawsuits from 100 a month to 25
- 74% reduction in the hospital liability insurance premiums
- movement by nursing staff reduced, from 10,000 steps a day to 1,200
- a reduction in patient falls by one third since 2006
Not surprisingly, this level of performance improvement has lead to much recognition and many quality awards, as demonstrated on the Virginia Mason website.