FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
Lori Gardner, Senior Director
Communications & Marketing
301.984.9496 ext. 226
For Immediate Release: February 1, 2006
Lean Healthcare Strengthens Oncology Programs, Maximizes Outcomes
Tips from Toyota help cancer programs do more with less
ROCKVILLE, MD—Hospital oncology programs are gaining a quality, safety, and performance edge by adapting business ideas from an automotive manufacturer. Based on the Toyota Production System (TPS), the new management approach maximizes value and eliminates waste.
“Three sterling concepts encompass the movement toward ‘lean thinking’: 1) implementing defect-free service, 2) eliminating redundancies, and 3) increasing workplace appreciation,” said Cindy Jimmerson, who will be presenting at the Association of Community Cancer Centers’ 32nd Annual National Meeting on March 15, 2006. She is founder and president of Lean Healthcare West, an organization of healthcare professionals offering education and implementation of TPS/lean principles in hospital, clinic, and long-term care facilities.
Ms. Jimmerson will discuss the TPS/lean principles and examine how they can strengthen cancer programs and maximize patient outcomes.
“The TPS/lean principles offer a way to look with new eyes at a specific problem identified by direct observation or experience,” said Ms. Jimmerson. “They begin by always defining the issue through the eyes of the customer. Stating a problem this way makes resolution indisputable. After all, why are we all here if not to produce an ideal service or product for the customer or patient?”
Producing ideal services in the healthcare arena means providing patient-centric care in a safe environment. Lean principles also entail standardizing procedures to decrease costs. The goal is to build processes— from introducing new technology to collecting bills—that are consistent, reliable, and timely. Pharmacy processes, for example, might be improved by eliminating delays and standardizing practices for calculating and administering IV medications.
Successful organizations have high workplace satisfaction, another important component of the TPS/lean principles. “When you take the frustration out of the workplace, people don’t leave. They stay and become more creative,” said Ms. Jimmerson.