Lean Concepts for the Service Industry: Healthcare Pharmacy Example
Lean / Six Sigma
Center for Executive Education
The University of Tennessee
Applying Lean in industries other than "repetitive manufacturing" requires a great deal of creativity. This challenge grows significantly in Service Industries like Healthcare. How do you apply TAKT Time when you do not control your customer demand? Can Flow or Pull be achieved in those situations? This presentation will highlight an Air Force Pharmacy addressing these issues and the specific challenges faced by the implementation team.
The University of Tennessee has been working closely with the Healthcare and Defense Industries for a number of years. Our work developing Lean for these industries has led to some ground-breaking insights into applying Lean Concepts such as TAKT Time to these industries. This presentation will highlight some of these insights while showing how they were successfully applied to a Pharmacy on an Air Force base in Florida. This presentation will show how this pharmacy transformed itself from two spearate batch-and-queue systems to a flow system with significant improvements in all key metrics. This example is being hailed as one of the most successful Lean implementation efforts over the last year and is also being used as a case study within the University of Tennessee's "Lean for Healthcare" Public course. An overview of the achievements from these efforts include a 65% reduction in Customer Wait Time, 44% improvement in productivity, 75% reduction in WIP and a 25% reduction in floor space utilized within the Pharmacy.