Iowa Healthcare Collaborative

Lean in Healthcare

Lean helps to reduce overhead costs, eliminate waste, and increase patient and staff satisfaction, by improving the processes by which an organization carries out its activities. Implementation of Lean will allow providers to lower cost and improve the quality of care delivered to patients.

The Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) recognizes that many healthcare providers in Iowa have successfully implemented Lean process improvement within their organizations. IHC hopes to encourage more Iowa healthcare providers to implement Lean, and has a goal of expanding the number of hospitals using Lean for improvement. 

Please contact your Quality Improvement Advisor for Lean and Quality Improvement Services. Services may be available right in your organization.

Resources and Tools

5S Basics (PDF)
This presentation contains overview information on what 5S is, what 5S does, and how 5S works. 

A3 Basics (PDF)
This presentation contains overview information on what A3 is, what A3 does, and how A3 works. 

Bridge the Gaps

Down with Silos

Error Proofing Basics (PDF)
This presentation provides overview information on what error proofing is, what error proofing is for, and when to use error proofing. 

Going Lean

Handling Handoffs

Lean Enterprise Institute
Providers can use this website to access current Lean workshops and seminars designed by the Lean Enterprise Institute. 

Lean Overview: What You Need to Know About Lean

On the Clock

Quick Changeover Basics (PDF)
This presentation provides an overview of what quick changeover is, how it works, and when to use quick changeover. 

Sarah Pavelka, Quality Management/Organizational Development Specialist (PDF)
Providers can use this presentation to better understand the Lean Paradigm- 5S tool- used to develop the most efficient workspace and eliminate waste in day-to-day operations.

Standard Work Basics (PDF)
This presentation provides an overview of what standard work is, when to use standard work, and multiple examples of standard work. 

Subject to Review

Suggested Readings (PDF)
Providers and healthcare facilities can download this list of suggested reading to better understand Lean tools. 

Value Stream Mapping Basics (PDF)
Providers can use this presentation to better understand value stream mapping basics. 

Visuals Controls Basics (PDF)
This presentation provides overview information on what visual controls are, when to use visual controls, and multiple examples of visual controls. 

What You Need to Know About Process Improvement


7 Ways Lean Healthcare Management Reduces Cost
This article from Healthcare Finance News by Steff Deschenes reviews seven ways to reduce healthcare system costs. 

Going Lean in Health Care
This Institute for Healthcare Improvement white paper reviews Lean principles and how to apply principles to healthcare. 

Go Slow to Go Fast
This article by Dave Munch reviews information on how to gain agreement for healthcare improvement. 

Lean Healthcare Case Studies
Providers can use this list of case studies from the Healthcare Performance Partners to review successful use of Lean techniques. 

Lean: Exceeding Investment at Mercy - North Iowa
This article by Kristin Buehner from the Global Gazette showcases Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa and use of Lean techniques. 

Pulling Lean Through a Hospital
This article from the Lean Enterprise Institute by George Taninecz discusses successful implementation of Lean techniques in North America. 

Website Resources

American Society for Quality
The American Society of Quality is a membership organization devoted to quality and they state, "we have the knowledge, tools, expertise and resources to inspire you and your organization."

Association for Manufacturing Excellence
This Association for Manufacturing Excellence is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to cultivating understanding, analysis and exchange of productivity methods and their successful application in the pursuit of excellence.

Lean Blog
The Lean blog discusses current information and events about Lean in factories, hospitals, and the world.

Lean Enterprise Institute
The Lean Enterprise Institute is a nonprofit education and research organization founded in 1997 to promote and advance the principles of lean thinking in every aspect of business and across a wide range of industries.

Productivity Press
The Productivity Press publishes Lean improvement books and tools that can be used to support Lean efforts in healthcare facilities. 

Quality Press
The Quality Press publishes books on subjects such as quality improvement and Lean.

Iowa Contact Information

Iowa Healthcare Collaborative 

Contact: Sarah Pavelka
Lean Coordinator

*Contact Sarah for information on regional or local Lean organizations.

Created: November 2009
Updated: July 2017

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