Tuesday, September 18, 2012

TPS Beyond Manufacturing

The Toyota Production System has been expanded from use in product manufacturing, to a mix of product provision and service like in the food industry (Starbucks) to even healthcare. The New York Times article “Factory Efficiency Comes to the Hospital”[1] discussed the benefits of utilizing kaizen, or continuous process improvement, in healthcare facilities. This involved not only reorganizing physical resources, like resorting stock rooms and resupply systems, but also changing the “supply chain” for information, such as using floor maps with special stickers to quickly explain the situation of patients on each floor.
An early promoter of using concepts derived from the Toyota Production System exists right here in Pittsburgh: The Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) with their Perfecting Patient Care (PPC) process improvement methodology.[2] PRHI teaches PPC to area healthcare facilities.
After attending PPC training, leaders at Allegheny General Hospital attempted to use lessons learned to fight a specific common infection acquired in hospitals (CLABs). ICU Staff members were broken up into teams for 90 days to “monitor the rates, root causes, and complications associated with CLABs and implement countermeasures to prevent CLABs based on evidence-based infection control guidelines and observations of central line placement and care”. After identifying the main causes of CLABs staff reworked procedures, such as where and how they utilized intravenous lines. The hospital reported that CLABs were nearly eradicated after utilizing lessons learned through PPC and that nurses had “developed a can-do attitude toward solving problems.”[3] What are other examples of success stories of applying TPS to none-manufacturing industries?

[1] Factory Efficiency Comes to the Hospital (NY Times, July 9, 2010)
[2] Pittsburgh Regional Care http://www.prhi.org/perfecting-patient-care/what-is-ppc

[3] Case Study: Perfecting Patient Care at Allegheny General Hospital and the Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative


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