Title: Improving Kaizen event success in healthcare through shorter event duration

Authors: James Natale; Ravi Uppal; Shengyong Wang

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325, USA ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325, USA ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325, USA

Abstract: A common method of applying Lean principles within healthcare organisations for process improvement is the 'Kaizen Event'. These events often engage a team of 5-8 team members, and span 3-5 days. As the investment in time, energy and financially is large, it is crucial that the event be used to greatest benefit. While the Kaizen Event was crafted for use in the manufacturing sector, there are a number of difficulties when applied in the healthcare sector. In this research, we studied three differing event styles: a traditional three-and-a-half-day event, a two-and-a-half-day event, and a three-half-day event. While the event structures may be altered, the original Kaizen methodology and goals are maintained. This paper analyses each event type, and the impact on the day-to-day operations, staff scheduling, and maximum utilisation of time, while still focused on achieving the patient-centred process improvement results which is the main objective.

Keywords: Kaizen event success; Kaizen sessions; continuous improvement; process improvement; healthcare delivery systems; lean principles.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCENT.2014.065033

International Journal of Collaborative Enterprise, 2014 Vol.4 No.1/2, pp.3 - 16

Available online: 09 Oct 2014 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article