Monday, October 16, 2006

St. Joseph's hospital in West Bend a model of efficiency in fashion industry.

Hi folks,

Just some irony for those of us who've lost a hospital because... well, we're still not absolutely sure about that here in West Bend. In any case, the "old" hospital was closed and a new version relocated 20 highway minutes away at a snazzy new spot out in the countryside -- because the old version mentioned here, was old-fashioned. Apparently industrial standards weren't enough.

Nietzsche would love this. :^)

Innovate Forum

In addition, by employing the use of small teams arranged in clusters of U-shaped workstations (similar to those used by Japanese electronics makers), worker efficiency at Louis Vuitton has been greatly increased, there is greater production flexibility, and workers are able to detect flaws earlier.

Such benefits are not unlike those experienced by St. Joseph’s hospital based in West Bend, Wisconsin, when it elected to employ manufacturing techniques to aid its efforts.

Like Louis Vuitton, efficiency was also the goal of St. Joseph’s hospital management, when it decided to apply proven manufacturing methods in the design and layout of its facilities. As noted in a recent Innovate Forum article, Innovative Approach to Patient Safety Leverages Proven Manufacturing Methods, by standardizing on the placement of lighting, medical equipment, patient beds and bathrooms in each room, hospital workers at St. Joseph’s were able to not only reduce patient error, but to more efficiently manage patient care, overall.

The lesson here? The principles of lean manufacturing are applicable in many settings. At the very least, any organization seeking to streamline either its manufacturing processes or its operations overall would be well advised to look to Japanese automakers like Toyota for insight and guidance.

If only we could get patients to act more like automobiles, then we'd really have something.


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