2. We noted that SSM Health Care learned from manufacturing companies in their quality journey. What can nonmanufacturing companies learn and apply from Toyota’s philosophy and practices? Suggest specific things that education and government might learn.
The nonmanufacturing companies can learn and apply from Toyota’s philosophy and practices as listed below:
i) Lean thinking.
In 1950s, Toyota has developed lean thinking. The Toyota Production System aspires to minimize waste and increase efficiency while at the same time enhances its product quality. From this initiative, Toyota managed to widen its competitive edge by employed fewer employees in the car production with a small number of flaw products.
The main idea is to fulfill the internal or external customer’s wants. Through lean thinking, it is hoping that nonmanufacturing company’s can provides value to the customers with minimum cost, effort and can save time. Thus, it will lead to improve performance and optimum utilization of the company’s additional capacity and resources.
Lean Thinking Category of Waste Health Care Examples
Correction (defects) Adverse drug reactions.
Readmission because of inappropriate discharge.
Repeating tests because of incorrect information.
Waiting Waiting for doctors to discharge patients.
Waiting for test results.
Transportation Central equipment stores rather than ward based stores for commonly used items.
Overprocessing Asking patients for the same information several times.
Inventory Waiting lists.
Excess stock in stockrooms.
Motion Unnecessary staff movement to obtain information or supplies.
Overproduction Requesting unnecessary laboratory tests.
Keeping beds or slots free “just in case”.
Adapted from NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement: Going Lean in the NHS (2007)
Through lean thinking in healthcare organization, staff would have an opportunity to look back at the work process that centered in patients or customers focal point so that it will be in line with the policy initiative. Lean thinking also helps in detecting and deals with various ‘waste’ processes. Hence, make the health care delivery more pleasant and streamlined for staff and patients. Still, healthcare organization needs to forecast demand precisely for instance in an emergency care and psychiatric unit. Therefore, it is quite challenging when the existing processes is specialty or departmentalized based. There are also problems in identifying customers in terms of internal and external customers since there might be conflict as interests as they have different motives. Moreover, many staff are apprehensive about lean thinking concept as it is viewed to give priority to staff reduction and cost saving.
In Heartland Health in St. Joseph, Missouri, teams are created to enhance and monitor process related to the patient’s treatment in an emergency department. Target has been set based on the acuity categorization. There is also...