Authors: Gregory R. Zimmerman
Abstract: The besieged state of the U.S. healthcare system has received much attention and for good reason; escalating costs exceeding inflation, medical procedures fraught with errors and quality of care in many segments at substandard levels are just a few of the challenges pressing leaders to seek unconventional remedies. It is as if Rube Goldberg created the operations benchmark by which healthcare organizations have strived to emulate. Recent practice suggests healthcare organizations are turning to engineering and manufacturing professionals to implement “lean” within their facilities due to their content expertise. However, industrial experts lack formal knowledge of the healthcare sector in order to be fully embraced by its community. This manuscript examines the cornerstones of “lean” practice and discusses implications for healthcare leadership. The paper concludes by offering a solution sponsored by Ferris State University’s College of Health Professions to provide an academic minor in Lean Healthcare that prepares healthcare systems administration baccalaureate students to be the next generation of lean experts.
Keywords: lean, six sigma, health administration, manufacturing management, engineering operations, university, college, degree program, curriculum, minor