The Effect of Lean Management on Improving Hospital Processes: from 2014 to 2016

H Ebrahimipour, E Houshmand, A Vafaei Najar, A Adel, S S Tabatabaei



Background: The concept of lean management refers to the elimination of waste and creation of value in an organization. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of lean management on improving surgery ward processes in a private hospital in Tehran.

Methods: In this case study, the level of patients’ consent and their voluntary discharge both before and after the intervention were investigated. Spaghetti chart methods were used to implement lean management. All clinical, administrative, and paraclinical wards of a private general hospital in Tehran from January 2014 to July 2016 were studied. The data were collected using patients’ consent analysis questionnaires and researcher developed forms, and they were analyzed through descriptive statistics in Excel software.

Results: The use of Spaghetti chart reduced the path in the process of discharging male patients was by 55%, 224 meter (from 408 to 184 m), and female patients by 41%, 224 m (from 546 to 321 m). The implemented interventions included the transfer of the Insurance Unit from the third floor to the ground floor and the transfer of the Discharge Unit from the first floor to the ground floor. The implementation of interventions reduced the frequency of voluntary discharge by 0.8% (from 6.8% to 6%), and it increased patients’ overall satisfaction by 8%.

Conclusion: Lean management in the hospital leads to the elimination of waste from the process of service delivery and the flow of activities performed. It is necessary to study the hospitals status quo, draw a picture of the forthcoming goals, determine the future status of the lean hospital management, and consequently, draw a map to move towards the lean hospital. 

Keywords: Quality Improvement, Management Quality Circles, Hospital Administration, Operating Room 

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