There has been much excitement in the Canadian healthcare industry about possible benefits of adopting Lean methodologies to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Increasing pressures from financial deficits, wait times and access-to-care issues, along with capacity and resource constraints, have accentuated this excitement.
This article shares the story of how University Health Network, a major healthcare organization in Toronto, Ontario, embarked upon clinical process improvement projects using Lean methodologies and principles. Focusing on improving patient flow and access to care and reducing wait times, efforts included the areas of medical imaging, palliative care, general internal medicine, the operating room department and the emergency department.
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