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Applying Lean Principles and Kaizen Rapid Improvement Events in Public Health Practice

Smith, Gene CSSBB, BS; Poteat-Godwin, Annah BS; Harrison, Lisa Macon MPH; Randolph, Greg D. MD, MPH

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice:
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e31823f57c0
Original Articles
Abstract

This case study describes a local home health and hospice agency's effort to implement Lean principles and Kaizen methodology as a rapid improvement approach to quality improvement. The agency created a cross-functional team, followed Lean Kaizen methodology, and made significant improvements in scheduling time for home health nurses that resulted in reduced operational costs, improved working conditions, and multiple organizational efficiencies.

In Brief

This study describes a local home health and hospice agency's effort, which resulted in reduced operational costs, improved working conditions, and multiple organizational efficiencies.

Author Information

North Carolina State University-Industrial Extension Service (Mr Smith and Ms Poteat-Godwin), North Carolina Center for Public Health Quality (Ms Harrison and Dr Randolph), and North Carolina Division of Public Health (Ms Harrison), Raleigh; and Department of Pediatrics, UNC School of Medicine and Public Health Leadership Program, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC (Dr Randolph).

Correspondence: Lisa Macon Harrison, MPH, Performance Improvement, NC Center for Public Health Quality, NC Division of Public Health, 5605 Six Forks Rd, 1931 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699 (Lisa.Harrison@dhhs.nc.gov).

The authors thank Ginger Parrish, PhD, Director of Albemarle Home Care & Albemarle Hospice, and her team for their active participation throughout the learning process and embracing the concepts of Lean.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.