Case Studies

Lean Healthcare: Nursing Unit

Lean Healthcare


There were many falls in the Pulmonary Unit largely associated with the nurses' lack of availability to the patient's bedside due to other demands including medication preparation.


The Lean team conducted a Value Stream Analysis (VSAP) to map the flow through the Pulmonary Unit which identified waste in their processes. Lean tools and philosophies, such as 5S, were used to eliminate those wastes and improve the value-added time for all involved.

Results (First 6 months of implementation)

  • 45% decrease in patient falls
  • 21% increase in nurses' time at patients' bedside
  • 98% increase in minutes at bedside per patient per hour
  • 18% decrease in time spent on medications

Client Comments

  • "It is gratifying to see much improvements and the validation of the Lean project. I feel the Pulmonary team has done a superb job and their front line pragmatic ideas are paying off and we see huge gains."
  • "Love the changes and it gives me more time with my patients. It is less stressful, less travel time to find things and the meds are better organized."
  • "The other day I could take time, about 10-15 minutes and talk to a patient and the patient responded, 'Thank you, I really needed that.' "

Updated Results

  • Another 40% reduction in patient falls
  • Maintained a high rate of assisted falls
  • The Lean training and implemented countermeasures are being rolled-out to all nursing units hospital-wide