Lean for Healthcare

Improving productivity, lowering costs and bringing quality products and services to market more efficiently are hallmarks of a lean enterprise organization. Lean thinking and the use of specific lean tools have been successfully implemented in healthcare facilities resulting in measurable improvements in business processes, greater patient focus, and lowered costs.

WPI has designed a series of lean workshops specifically for healthcare professionals - leaders who desire to understand these tools and use their knowledge to drive lean healthcare throughout their entire organization.

Certificate in Lean Healthcare

By combining the workshops below with one other professional development workshop, healthcare employees can earn a Lean for Healthcare Certificate. We are also able to customize certificate programs for your organization to address specific knowledge gaps and areas of desired focus - contact the office of Corporate and Professional Education to learn more about customization opportunities.

  • How to Implement Kaizen Events
  • Implementing the Five-S +1 System: Creating the Visual Workplace
  • Leading an Effective Cross-Functional Team
  • Understanding and Implementing Lean for Medical and Hospital Administration

Lean Enterprise Workshop Descriptions

The following workshops have been selected as being especially relevant for healthcare organizations. Other lean enterprise workshops are also available

How to Implement Kaizen Events

Organizations large and small depend on successful supplier performance to maximize operational effectiveness and satisfy their customers' demands. Kaizen events are an effective process for introducing rapid change into your organization by utilizing the ideas and motivation of the people who do the work.

Today's rapidly changing business environment requires more than just continuous improvement; it requires a way to quickly and effectively identify and implement dramatic improvements in your organization where they are needed. If rapid change is needed at your organization, this workshop provides participants with the necessary tools needed to develop and manage these changes.  


  • What are kaizen events
  • The general electric workout
  • Identifying and assessing opportunity areas
  • Preparing requirements
  • The people side of kaizen events
  • Identifying scope and constraints
  • Conducting kaizen events
  • Presenting results
  • Post kaizen event follow through
  • Implementing changes for success

.7 CEUs awarded


Today's competitive environment requires people working together in teams that are seamless; this is best accomplished by the use of a cross-functional team that has clear goals and a capable team leader.

In this highly interactive workshop, participants learn how to lead teams to success while exploring the benefits and challenges of working in teams. Through discussions, role playing and exercises, participants are equipped with essential tools for leading cross-functional teams.


  • Team leader guidelines
  • The vital role of the leader
  • Identifying what a team is
  • Closing the knowing/doing gap
  • The cost of change
  • Imperfections and promises

Implementing the Five-S + 1 System: Creating the Visual Workplace

Lean operations require a visual workplace in order to maintain momentum, and the five-S system (Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain) is the only way to get there. By implementing this system, organizations decrease shift start-up times and reduce inter-shift conflicts, as well as increase productivity, improve quality and morale, and increase profits.

Although the five-S system anchors lean manufacturing on shop floors, it is not limited to manufacturing operations; these methodologies can be applied to any area of an organization that needs to improve efficiency and reduce downtime.


  • Pilot program setup to implement the five-S system
  • Training others on the five-S system
  • Implementing the SORT properly
  • Improving productivity through SET IN ORDER
  • Maintaining machine uptime through SHINE
  • Supervision's critical role in STANARDIZE
  • SUSTAINING as a way of life
  • Five-S audit

.7 CEUs awarded


Lean principles have practical applications for medical and hospital administration. Lean thinking and the use of lean tools have been successfully implemented in major medical facilities with measurable improvements for everything from patient paperwork, to clogged waiting rooms in various specialty departments, to redesigning ambulatory practices, to how nurses care for home patients and record their medical data.

Special feature:
This workshop includes a pre-meeting preparation day with the instructor to select the processes the teams work on during the workshop. Presented as two separate sessions, with at least two to three weeks in between sessions, participants work as teams during the break to complete an assignment customized to their organizations; they present their assignment during the second session.

Session One:

  • Basic concepts of lean
  • XR-1
  • Basics of value stream process mapping
  • Value added vs. non-value added
  • Quantifying cycle times in processes
  • Producing a current state process map

Session Two:

  • Team presentations
  • Translating concepts into results
  • Lean leadership requirements
  • The customer is our future

1.4 CEUs Awarded