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Nursing Works: The Application of Lean Thinking to Nursing Processes

O’Neill, Susan MNS, RN, MRCN; Jones, Tina DNurs, RN; Bennett, Denise MBA, RN, RM; Lewis, Melissa BA(Hons), Psych

Journal of Nursing Administration: December 2011 - Volume 41 - Issue 12 - p 546–552
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e3182378d37

This article describes the Nursing Works program at Flinders Medical Centre, South Australia. Program goals were to use lean principles to increase the time direct care nurses spent at the bedside, improve patient outcomes, and make nursing work more efficient and satisfying for staff. Steps incorporating lean methodology are described. Outcomes indicate that lean thinking is an effective improvement methodology and a framework for change management of nursing work.

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Author Affiliations: Executive Director of Nursing and Associate Professor, Cabrini Health, Melbourne, Victoria (Ms O’Neill); Clinical Practice Director, Adelaide Health Service, South Australia (Dr Jones); Lean Program Manager, City of Melbourne, Victoria (Ms Bennett); Redesigning Care Clinical Facilitator, Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, South Australia (Ms Lewis), Australia.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Ms Lewis, Redesigning Care, Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, South Australia 5041, Australia (

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© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.