'Lean' healthcare may not be the way to go

Knowing your customer (see next story): All the rage now in healthcare systems is adopting ‘lean’ processes originally developed for the manufacturing area, which involves process mapping, identifying non-value added areas and redesigning to eliminate waste of time and resources. However, the healthcare environment is very dynamic, changeable, subject to heavy load for which responses need to be projected and predicted–in contrast to manufacturing which is far more steady state. The concept of ‘dynamic standardization’ as a response incorporating ‘lean’ processes but altering them to fit changed circumstances, creating another standard approach and so on, is discussed in this Becker’s Hospital Review interview with Pierce Story of Capacity Strategies. Where will your product fit? Why Lean Might Not Be the Best Solution to Healthcare Inefficiencies  

Our readers should also compare and contrast this with Clayton Christensen’s POV on the broken circle of innovation, which we presented earlier this month. ”Efficiency innovations’, which ‘lean’ and Six Sigma is all about, is the end stage of a three-stage cycle that includes first (and most importantly to him) ’empowering innovations” and second ‘sustaining innovations.’