Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Taking the Toyota approach to brain surgery

Date:
December 8, 2011
Source:
Inderscience
Summary:
Japanese vehicle manufacturer, Toyota, is well-known for developing the principles of so-called "lean manufacturing". New research suggests that the lean approach might also be beneficial to medical procedures, making hospitals more efficient and cut waiting lists.

Japanese vehicle manufacturer, Toyota, is well-known for developing the principles of so-called "lean manufacturing." Research published in the International Journal of Technology Management suggests that the lean approach might also be beneficial to medical procedures, making hospitals more efficient and cut waiting lists.

Management Engineer Kasper Edwards of the Technical University of Denmark in Lyngby and colleagues first reviewed the research literature on lean practices. Lean manufacturing based on the Toyota Production System is founded on the idea of "preserving value with less work." It is perhaps the natural extension of the Ford Motor Company's original production line approach and involves avoiding any expenditure or costs that do not create value for the end customer. From the consumer perspective, this means offering products or services at a price the customer is willing to pay.

The team hoped to discover whether the same values of lean, value and efficiency might be applied to healthcare systems. Their research demonstrates that within the Danish public healthcare system, "lean" can work very effectively for some parts of healthcare provision, such as surgical wards but not necessarily for others. Lean could thus help address the problem of not only financial constraints on public health services but also help hospitals cope with the problem of a lack of doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals in general.

The researchers point out that until recently, lean projects in healthcare have focused only on peripheral activities to improve patient flow through wards and reduction of turnover times. Numerous hospitals have implemented lean in these contexts with varying degrees of success. Likewise, administrative procedures have also benefited from a lean approach. The team has now studied the case of a major hospital outside Copenhagen with 200 employees and ten operating rooms. Surgery was split into two streams: one following normal procedures, the other running "lean" for elective operations. Ultimately, the programme was initiated to create more effective working procedures, and ensure a total continuity of care to the benefit of both staff and patients in the light of absenteeism and morale problems at the hospital.

As part of the lean approach, two "turbo" rooms were set up that would carry out only elective and routine surgical procedures and would be staffed by only senior employees and have no educational functions. Teamwork was also encouraged with a fixed team in which, for instance, the anaesthetist might assist the surgeon by holding a patient's arm when required.

The results were overwhelming, Edwards and colleagues report: "What was previously done in three operating rooms can now be done in two and the teams are finished within their shift," the researchers explain. This has had a significant effect on employee morale as well as increasing patient turnover by a third and eliminating waiting times for the routine procedures carried out in the turbo rooms.

The researchers point out that for the remaining operating theatres at the hospital that were not made lean, there has been no change other than that there are fewer, efficient senior staff available. Staff morale in the non-lean rooms may be somewhat compromised, which highlights the need to investigate further the benefits for patients of a lean approach to surgery and to consider the overall impact on a hospital should lean be implemented in only certain areas. Lean works in healthcares but mixing lean and normal mode surgery in the same ward is not recommended, the team adds.

Journal reference: "Implementing lean in surgery - lessons and implications" in Int. J. Technology Management, 2012, 57, 4-17


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Inderscience. "Taking the Toyota approach to brain surgery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111208114855.htm>.
Inderscience. (2011, December 8). Taking the Toyota approach to brain surgery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111208114855.htm
Inderscience. "Taking the Toyota approach to brain surgery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111208114855.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) — Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) — At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) — Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins