Lean is good for your health

I’m not talking about a Lean diet (although that is healthy too) – I’m talking about Lean Process Improvement. I witnessed this first-hand this week at the Toronto Sick Kids “Transforming Pediatric Care” conference.

Lean Innovation in Healthcare

It was exciting to see how our healthcare is being improved by innovation – and the spirit of collaborative continuous improvement, the linchpin of Lean. High-fidelity models of infants and adults with a heartbeat that run fevers and display rashes. The model knows when it has been given an injection (not just when a needle is inserted, but when the plunger is pressed!) Conestoga College has a high-fidelity adult simulator for its students that can even give birth! These are awesome examples of the Lean “dojo” concept for training, where students learn in a realistic but safe test environment.

Virtual reality also figured prominently in the exhibits, from helping comfort and guide children during medical procedures, to practitioner training, to facilities planning, to the “Wishplay” team developing virtual reality experiences for infirm patients who can’t leave the hospital but still want to have an adventure. All of these add value to the customer while reducing the cost of delivery. Beautiful Lean Thinking!

Lean for everyone and everything

Each exhibit and presentation re-enforced the same message. Anything can be improved, and improvements are worth doing. When we push the boundaries of what we can do – and how we do it – we all benefit. That’s the power of positive continuous improvement, and the beauty of Lean Thinking!

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