In 2004, Northeast Health introduced the Lean process of performance improvement to increase efficiency and productivity while reducing costs and waste ... thus improving quality of care.

Based on the Toyota Production System, Lean is an integrated approach to designing and improving work toward an "ideal state," which is customer-focused and involves people at all levels using common practices and principles.

Lean utilizes "kaizen events" to tackle a particular issue that needs improvement. During a kaizen event, team members map out the entire process step-by-step and break down every task in detail. The team is then able to establish goals, examine root causes, and identify resolutions to help improve flow.

In addition to Kaizen events, Lean utilizes learning labs, process mapping and value stream mapping to assess details and issues involved with a particular process.

Summary of Lean Activities - April 2004 - December 2009

For more information regarding Lean at Northeast Health, email Tricia Brown, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, at Brownt@nehealth.com.

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