Lean in… for Better Healthcare Design

Lean in… for Better Healthcare Design

Pictured: MPS team members engaged in a Lean healthcare workshop.

As healthcare managers face increasing pressure to produce measurable gains in patient satisfaction from every facility, architects have an opportunity to help their clients shift the paradigm of process management. It’s called Lean Facility Design. Built on the framework of Toyota’s heralded lean manufacturing workflow, this design approach uses deep dive process-analysis to create a cycle of continuous improvement and measurable performance.

McMillan Pazdan Smith currently has four architects slated for Green Belt Certification in 2015, allowing us to use Lean Facility Design to improve our programming process, cultivate deeper client relationships, and create more meaningful, efficient, and cost-effective facilities.

Some of the key concepts of our Lean Facility Design process include:

  • Observing and understanding the client’s processes
  • Identifying and eliminating waste in the client’s workflow (time, money, space, materials, movement, energy, etc.)
  • Clarifying communications through shared language

Many issues can cause disruption even for the very best of healthcare providers. Everything from redundant paperwork and lost information to breakdowns in communication and inefficient space planning can derail workflow and distract from patient care. Rather than let organizational issues dictate architectural solutions, we address them before design programming begins through simple observation and analysis. This frees the programmer to focus on supporting good processes, not compensating for bad processes.

The MPS team sees Lean Facility Design as measurable proof of “Good Design.” By creating benchmarks of current process efficiency and facility performance before the programming stage of design, we can establish clear expectations of predictable results. This gives us tangible evidence of how our design affects the client’s performance, yielding better healthcare outcomes for patients and a better workplace for physicians, nurses and staff.

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