krM Architecture+ Learns About LEAN Facility Design

Thursday, April 18 2013

Knowledge Share

LEAN Healthcare Yellow Belt Training

One might refer to ‘lean’ as a non-fatty cut of meat when ordering at a restaurant, but when referring to LEAN as a work process, it is similar in the way that it ‘cuts’ any excess processes or waste when performing a task. LEAN principles can be applied to the operation of different types of organizations. The Purdue Heathcare Advisors LEAN Healthcare Yellow Belt Certification Program is for healthcare organizations and those providing services to them. Identifying and creating efficient practices to eliminate waste through the LEAN process leads to understanding the needs of the patient and how to deliver that value. LEAN is more than just a buzz word, it's a way to make use of every sq. ft. of a facility and maximize resources. The principles behind the LEAN process utilizes the understanding of how people participate in each unique situation at its core. Ultimately the goal is to create meaningful and sustained change to eliminate both operational and special waste in order to make healthcare or businesses more viable in the marketplace.

LEAN Process Example

  1. Specify Value
  2. Identify and Eliminate Waste
  3. Create Flow
  4. Establish Pull/JIT (just in time)
  5. Pursue Perfection

Here is a short slide presentation

Winifrid Williams
Winifrid Williams AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Architect & Firm Partner

Q: What was the most surprising concept you learned at the Purdue University LEAN Yellow Belt Educational Seminar?

After a 4-day LEAN training event presented by Purdue Healthcare Advisors, I think one of the hardest points for me as an architect, was to not jump to an immediate solution. When there is a perceived problem, our design instincts kick in and we want to resolve the issue by way of design. But a fundamental principle about the LEAN process is to solve the ‘root cause’ of a problem or operational issue first. There are several steps and ways to evaluate the problem to get to the very heart of it... and often that is not related directly to design, until the ‘root cause’ is identified. Understanding those issues early in the process and using LEAN to solve them helps the design to be meaningful, reduces cost and improves staff and patient experiences. See an example to the left on 5 LEAN concepts (the 5 S's). I am looking forward to using LEAN principles with our clients and continuing the LEAN certification program.

View flyer (pdf)

Writer: Jeanine Parsch, 765-337-7047,

Tags: Process & Cost Improvement (Lean)

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