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Leadership & Professional Development

Evaluation of Outpatient Oncology Services Using Lean Methodology

Deanna Belter
Jennifer Halsey
Heidi Severtson
Amy Fix
Laura Michelfelder
Karen Michalak
Patty Abella
Angela De Ianni
ONF 2012, 39(2), 136-140 DOI: 10.1188/12.ONF.136-140

The Lean Transformation Process is a methodology created by the Toyota Production System that focuses on the elimination of nonvalue-added operations in the workplace to create flow and quick response to customer demand. The process improvement strategy, when applied to the healthcare setting, can enhance the patient experience by cutting out waste (nonvalue added work) and providing a safer, streamlined visit (Lean Enterprise Institute, 2011). Because providing chemotherapy is a multistep, interdisciplinary process, it is ideal for Lean evaluation. The goal of this application was to improve the overall efficiency of the multidisciplinary chemotherapy process in an oncology infusion center by implementing changes that would decrease patient wait times and improve communication across disciplines.

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