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White Paper Series:  Improving Healthcare Delivery Using Lean Thinking for Facility Design
Elsa Mersereau & Cindy Jimmerson
© Lean Healthcare West, February 2012

Lean Healthcare West has used Lean methodologies in numerous hospitals and clinics to improve workflow layout.  Throughout this whitepaper readers will learn from the experience of our staff, architectural design teams, and healthcare facility clients as we highlight specific examples and lessons learned.  Readers will learn how to apply Lean to facility design by understanding who should be involved, which specific Lean concepts to incorporate, when to initiate Lean activities, and what outcomes to expect.  


Lean Facility Design Services from Lean Healthcare West
Lean Healthcare West provides Lean coaching, facilitation, consulting, and training for healthcare and architectural design teams engaged in new facility improvements. From greenfield projects to remodel and expansion, we plan activities that meet precisely the needs of each project.   Additionally, Lean Healthcare West is now offering Green Belt Lean Certification for Facilities Design Course.  
Why Use Lean in Facility Design?
Consider Toyota’s tenet of eliminating waste by supporting the people who do the work. Now imagine a hospital design that supports the work of the busy departments with a focus on ideal care for the patient. 
We can move closer to an ideal design by engaging the people who do the work in deeply understanding the current state, creating a future state and recognizing the obstacles that keep us from that future state. We partner with the architects and care teams to create a future state that informs the design process in ways never before employed.
The objective of our Lean facility design work is to facilitate preparation for new hospital design or remodel using Lean Thinking.  Care teams, ancillary services and the design teams learn to use Lean Thinking to objectively inform the design process.  Our goal is to facilitate the design of an improved work environment that is patient centered, flexible, efficient, and affordable.  
Lean Healthcare West will customize a program to meet the needs of the organization, project, and vision for the new build.  We use aspects of the Lean manufacturing tool known as "3P" (Production Preparation Process) in conjunction with the common architectural practice of charrettes.  
Teams will use Lean concepts and tools as they:
·      Analyze current state processes
·      Develop future state processes for new space
·      Develop layout options and analyze key flows
·      Prepare for functional programming and schematic design
·      Create high-level vision for new space
·      Conduct 5S for workplace organization
Specific deliverables from the Lean Facility Design work include:
·      Plans that include the right space, the right location, and that it is not over-built to accommodate ineffective processes
·      Development of “Criteria for Future State” for the general facility and for each team/department to guide evaluations of design
·      Staff and design team’s involvement to assure the design decisions support improved workflow
·      Real-time Lean education and application for team members
·      Documentation of the current state using Value Stream Maps
·      Identification of opportunities for improvement from the current state
·      Future state Value Stream Maps of key processes
·      Action plan for process improvement of key issues while still in the current facility
·      Identification of additional critical points for further discussion/decision making                         


Click here to learn more about 3P for Hospital Design