Applying Toyota’s production techniques in a hospital setting

The Washington Post reports that Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle has applied Toyota’s assembly principles to its oncology department, helping patients flow through the system faster and more smoothly. Results are similar to what Toyota experiences –higher quality, lower costs, higher throughput and more responsive service.

In adopting the Toyota mind-set, [CEO Gary] Kaplan said, the 350-bed hospital has saved $6 million in planned capital investment, freed 13,000 square feet of space, cut inventory costs by $360,000, reduced staff walking by 34 miles a day, shortened bill-collection times, slashed infection rates, spun off a new business and, perhaps most important, improved patient satisfaction.

See Toyota Assembly Line Inspires Improvements at Hospital.

June 3, 2005

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