Research Spotlight: Lean and Healthcare
Professor Edward Anderson is currently researching the application of Lean production management in Healthcare and whether - and how - it can be applied to both improve quality and reduce waste, as it was designed to do in other services like car manufacturing. Prior to getting his Ph.D. from MIT, Professor Anderson was a product design engineer for Ford Motor Co., from which he holds six patents. He's been involved in healthcare research for nearly 10 years.
So, what is Lean? Lean was coined by MIT researchers in the early 1990s to describe the production system developed by Japanese automotive manufacturers, particularly Toyota. It is now considered the gold-standard in manufacturing.
There have been many attempts to implement Lean ideas of management and process improvement in healthcare, but to date these efforts have been limited and difficult to scale. It's sort of like trying to cross the Himalayas on the wrong kind of camel.
Lean Production Management is great for manufacturing - and not just automobiles. But what happens when you try to directly apply what works great in manufacturing to healthcare? Think of healthcare as the Himalayas.
Want to know more about Professor Anderson's work in Lean in healthcare?