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Leaning toward efficiency

Saturday, 6 September 2014

“What do you do?”

When asked to describe what you do during the day, it’s natural to answer in the context of your current work environment. Its spaces, adjacencies, and physical parameters determine how you interact with others, how efficiently you function, and how effectively you do your job. But it doesn’t answer the question.

When it comes to the lean healthcare design, the question isn’t “how do you function in your current space?” It’s “what are you trying to accomplish?” Applying lean principles when designing a space that will optimize efficient and effective healthcare delivery means putting the outcome first.

Lean design isn’t just a matter of common sense. It’s the cornerstone to designing spaces that work smarter, reducing processing time and improving communications.

It means breaking down and quantifying the components of healthcare operations. Applying lean principles means understanding the processes of healthcare delivery and evaluating their outcomes, efficiencies, and waste, taking them apart and working together to re-envision better, more effective ways of working.

- Cathy Lange and Lauren Deck

Cathy Lange AIA and Lauren Deck lead the lean healthcare design practice at Shepley Bulfinch and hold Certificates in Lean in Healthcare from the Massachusetts Hospital Association.

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