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“Lean” thinking may cut NHS inefficiencies and improves patient care

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7556.1472-a (Published 22 June 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1472
  1. Caroline White
  1. London

    A management technique pioneered by the Japanese car manufacturer Toyota 60 years ago, the “lean” technique, could be used in the NHS to cut waste and inefficiencies and improve patient care. This is the conclusion of a new report commissioned by the NHS Confederation, the body that represents NHS trusts.

    The technique, which has already been deployed by the UK supermarket chain Tesco and the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, has now been applied to healthcare organisations, including in Australia and two NHS trusts in England, says a report from the confederation.

    The lean technique entails assessing every process for its value to the customer (or patient), redesigning it …

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