Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


LEAN Result In Brief

Project ID: 246737
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: Israel

Lean production practices in health care and R&D

To enhance efficiency, innovation and quality of care, hospitals and research and development (R&D) units are implementing lean production practices with varying degrees of success. An EU initiative looked into what makes deployment effective in both settings.
Lean production practices in health care and R&D
Health care and R&D works with lean production. Results for hospitals are mixed, with some even chronicling undesirable consequences such as higher costs and more treatment errors. R&D departments are reluctant to implement lean practices because they may inhibit innovation and creativity.

With this in mind, the EU-funded LEAN (An integrated model of lean production concepts, practices, and climate as a tool for improving efficiency and effectiveness in hospitals and R&D units) project set out to gain deeper insight into lean in hospitals and R&D units. To achieve this, it identified conditions that explain why and how lean can have positive effects on efficiency, quality and innovation.

Researchers gathered data on quality evaluation frameworks in hospitals and R&D units in Israel and the United States. Methods were assessed based on cost efficiency, quality of care and innovation. This led to a novel data set for advanced lean models currently in use. Based on this, the team analysed the efficiency of lean models and methods.

Project partners examined the implementation of two basic lean practices that were specifically adapted by emergency departments (EDs) to address high chest pain patient flows and erroneous discharges. Findings showed that partial lean implementation passed the problems from EDs to other departments. A holistic lean implementation in the hospital reduced patient readmission significantly, but overall hospital costs increased.

When comparing R&D departments in high-tech organisations, the team found that conflict surfaced over plans to implement lean practices in the development of innovative products.

Lastly, a lean implementation model was developed to improve efficiency and effectiveness in hospitals and R&D departments.

LEAN introduced an integrated model to accommodate hospital and R&D environments. It has the potential to enhance efficiency and quality in health care and R&D.

Related information


Lean production, health care, hospitals, research and development
Record Number: 175051 / Last updated on: 2016-01-28
Domain: Industrial Technologies