This month, I was fortunate enough to enrol on a course facilitated by my Trust called ‘Lean For Leaders’. The course is intended for leaders, looking and lean pathways and lean ways of working, based on the principles of the Toyota Production System. I have just received my prerequisite reading material, covering the theory and concepts of lean practices and transformations.
The aim of the course is to learn and understand the tools needed to improve quality, patient safety and employee engagement, whilst reducing hospital costs. This is done by implementing lean practices such as standard working, eliminating waste, added-value stream mapping and process observation. The course runs over six modules; however the emphasis is ‘A Lean Journey, is a Learning Journey’. Therefore, once I have successfully completed the course, my life-long journey as a lean leader will begin and I can put the tools and skills I have learnt into practice. Although this course is aimed at clinical and managerial leaders, there is a strong focus on engaging all healthcare employees. This is done through supporting them in creating ‘Everyday Lean Ideas’. An example could be reducing duplication of unnecessary note writing, which reduces time (waste), as well as the carbon footprint, but it also increases value added time for the patient (increase clinical treatment time).
The Lean for Leaders course principles fit well with the outcomes of the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare vision. The outcome needed is to ‘reduce carbon without reducing health’. The primary driver is to reduce activity, which leads to the secondary driver, one of which is embedding lean pathways. This all leads to sustainable practice and building a sustainable healthcare system. I will be there third Occupational Therapist at my trust starting the course and I am really excited to start my lean journey!