InformeDesign Releases Implications on Applying Lean Production in Healthcare Facilities

July 29, 2008

WASHINGTON - The latest issue of Implications, a monthly research newsletter on design and human behavior produced by InformeDesign®, presents a case study of how one firm applied production efficiency methods used in manufacturing to the design of a healthcare facility. The goal of the project was to help create maximum value for patients by reducing waste while improving safety and efficiency.

The project involved the design and construction of a new Heart and Vascular Center for Park Nicollet Health Services in Minneapolis by Ellerbe Becket. In an effort to improve quality and reduce medical error, Park Nicollet Health Services has recently undertaken a major initiative to implement "Lean Production" efficiency methods, based on the Toyota Production System, that seek to obtain continuous improvement across an entire organization. Becket worked with Park Nicollet Health Services to apply the concepts and tools of "Lean Production" to the new center in order to address such issues as patient, staff and information flow through the facility.

Applying lean principles to the design of Park Nicollet's Heart and Vascular Center has resulted in a 73 percent decrease in patient walking distance and a 30 percent decrease in staff walking distance, report authors Jon Buggy, AIA, a managing principal of Ellerbe Becket's Minneapolis office, and Jennifer Nelson, senior vice president, medical specialties of Park Nicollet Health Services. "Many improvements identified through lean procedures have design-based solutions," they say.

To view or download a copy of this article, or the full issue of Implications, go to the InformeDesign Web site at To access this free site, you must register. 

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