Lean began in the automotive industry. The term was first used to describe the systems
and the thinking that drives Toyota's success in 1990 when Womack, Jones, and Roos
published the findings of the International Motor Vehicle Program (IMVP) research
in a book entitled "The Machine that Changed the World: The story of lean production."
In those early days, most people thought that lean principles applied only to high
volume, relatively low variety manufacturing operations. Those with open and inquisitive
minds, however, quickly saw how adaptable these lean ideas were and began applying
the principles, practices, tools, and techniques in a variety of other manufacturing
industries, then to non-manufacturing areas that support operations, and then to
services industries. Today, there are examples of lean thinking in nearly every
activity people engage in.
Several years ago, ILS was asked to help improve operations at a major university's
medical department. Working very closely with the medical staff, from
the administrators, through the physicians and nurses, all the way to the support
staff, we learned that applying lean in healthcare was a little different
from applying lean in manufacturing. In particular, these organizations require
a people-oriented approach where cross-functional teams collaboratively
integrate their services to deliver care centered on the needs of their patients..
We discovered that our diversity of backgrounds and experience made ILS perfectly
suited for this work, and helped considerably in gaining the buy-in
and trust needed to accelerate a healthcare transformation.
Today, we offer total system lean transformation services for hospitals,
clinics, HMOs, and Insurers. We have developed a tailored lean educational curriculum
that delivers the right skill set to the right set of people to rapidly
and permanently make the improvements needed to control rising costs, improve working
conditions, improve patient care, improve administration, and build more satisfying
and rewarding work for people in medical fields. Visit the links above, or give
us a call. We'll be happy to discuss how we may be able to either start or accelerate
your lean journey.