The impact of LEAN on human beings and healing

The Minnesota Nurses Association created a video on their take on applying Toyota’s processes to hospital processes. View the video here.


It is time for leaders to embrace a new form of efficiency – human efficiency – especially in healthcare and it starts with the awareness that the best healing agent we have is within each of us. We need to switch our focus away from DOing more toward BEing more of who we are in each and every interaction and bring our whole selves to the healing experience. When we take time to connect with ourselves and others as the conscious, compassionate human beings – that we all are – we promote healing which improve outcomes, reduce the costs, and creates meaning. I wonder how many organizations are now addicted to LEAN and use it as the prescription to every symptom and disease plaguing their organization. Interesting enough, numerous studies show that the focus on LEAN in healthcare over the past 12 + years, has not alleviated many of the symptoms such as: safety, errors, turnover, burnout, and dissatisfaction, and in many cases things have gotten worse. Isn’t this our wake up call? Or have we, as some suggest, not hit bottom yet? Perhaps it’s time for a 12-step program to break this addiction to LEAN in healthcare and first, acknowledge we have a problem and then second, make a conscious decision to look at not only what we do and how we do but also who we are in the moment so we can all be agents of healing. —Nancy



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