Most healthcare organizations in the US face significant organizational pressures. One of the key strategies recommended by leading healthcare improvement organizations is to establish a stronger quality improvement support structure to assist healthcare systems and professionals with knowledge and tools to improve quality.

Toyota Production System (TPS; also called ‘Lean’) is perhaps the most powerful model devised to-date for efficient design and management of large-scale operations. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI, 2005) along with a number of researchers studying the application of lean to the healthcare industry believes that Lean principles can be and are already being successfully applied to the delivery of healthcare. However, there has been virtually no rigorous research to provide necessary evidence about the effectiveness of Lean implementation processes and not just to the nature of the Lean program (Mazur et al, 2012a,b).

Therefore, this web-site is about the path to getting there – researching and understanding the transition period during which employees ideally become increasingly skillful, consistent, and committed in their use of a Lean thinking and practices as an innovation for quality improvement and patient safety.

Our objective is to develop and propose recommendations on how to effectively implement Lean thinking and practices in order to improve health care delivery quality and reduce cost. We believe that our research efforts will yield results providing providers, patients, payers, policymakers, and the public with statistical and contextual details to recommend diffusion of lean into healthcare organizations across the nation for quality improvement.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement (2005). Going Lean in health care, Innovation Series.

Mazur, L.M., McCreery, J., and Chen, S-J. “Quality Improvement in Hospitals: What Triggers Behavioral Change?”, Journal of Healthcare Engineering, vol. 4, no. 4; pp. 621-648, 2012a. 

Mazur, L.M., McCreery, J., Rothenberg, L. “Facilitating Lean Learning and Behaviors in Hospitals during the Early Stages of Lean Implementation,” Engineering Management Journal, vol. 24, no. 1; pp. 11-22, 2012b.