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Lean Planning in Healthcare Design

July 10th, 2015 | Blog | Share
Graphic of lean process improvement.

Lean planning principles are most often thought as being applied to the overall hospital design. While lean can help in large scale ideas, it can also be beneficial on small scale applications, like clinic design.

Lean eliminates waste and creates efficient workflow to provide the patient with the best care possible. Through emphasis on flexibility and adaptability, Lean is especially useful for health care organizations that must anticipate changes in medical technology and care practices. Lean helps organizations plan clinic spaces that adapt easily to change, providing long-term value for patient care and operational cost savings.

Lean planning is a holistic approach integrating information from care providers, patients, and other stakeholders to establish a framework that supports efficient quality patient care.

Lean is most effective when designers work in tandem with the healthcare organization to understand their current state and strategically plan an efficient future state. This, essentially, is planning from the inside out. First understand the care practices, then diagram a more efficient model, and finally plan spaces around the anticipated evolution, keeping flexibility and adaptability in the forefront.

Through collaboration, healthcare designers and organizations can reinforce a lifetime commitment to Lean beyond the initial project completion and has the potential to shape the culture of a healthcare organization well into the future.