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Improving Emergency Department Flow Through the RME

Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center is a 330-bed hospital with one of the busiest emergency departments in San Diego County, California, USA. In 2005, the wait time for emergency department (ED) patients had noticeably increased, driven by a growing demand for services, combined with staffing and space constraints. To identify bottlenecks, the ED manager and…

Lean Improves Physician Office Medical Records Flow

In October 2006, Virtua Health, aided by a team of Black Belts and Lean consultants, completed a Kaizen event at Tatem Brown Family Practice. A Kaizen event is a three-and-a-half day burst of continuous improvement activities where changes are brainstormed, try-stormed, validated and implemented by a small team of process experts (frontline staff) primarily from…

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Power of Lean in the Laboratory: A Clinical Application

Improvement ideas are frequently considered in most organizations, but it is all too rare that these ideas are pursued and implemented. Lean offers a powerful set of tools to address this issue. Born in the automotive industry, Lean focuses on eliminating waste (non-value-added activities) throughout a process. Reducing or eliminating needless steps – such as…

Histology Technology and Lean Healthcare Hand in Hand

Many in the healthcare industry, as well as other industries, think that new technology – automated systems and expensive equipment – can assure vastly improved workflow. In reality, too often new technology is infused into old processes, therefore greatly reducing the benefits of the investment. That was the initial experience at Virtua Voorhees Histology Lab in…

Hospital Uses Lean to Improve Safety and Satisfaction

Abington Memorial Hospital is a 570-bed not-for-profit regional teaching hospital in Abington, Pennsylvania. As part of an ongoing effort to enhance performance across the organization, the Performance Outcomes Department was established in the fall of 2006. The department will be providing new services to existing hospital departments and programs, such as process redesign, improvement leadership…

Six Sigma Helps Public Healthcare Meet Community Needs

Public health is tackling a broad range of challenges, from smoking, obesity and alcohol abuse to mental and sexual health. While the majority of public health departments and community-based healthcare providers are racing to meet the Healthy People 2010 objectives, disasters such as Hurricane Katrina have brought concerns related to a lack of systematic processes…

Roadblocks into Results: Lean Benefits Surgical Center

Virtua Health System has applied Six Sigma, change acceleration process and Work-out across its four-hospital system in New Jersey since 2000. Recently, as the institution was co-sponsoring and serving as a training ground for a Lean seminar, it was adding Lean to its process improvement toolkit. About Summit Surgical Center The Summit Surgical Center is…