Using the Lean Model of Care: Translating the Toyota Way

Safety net hospitals in California are using a car manufacturer's model to improve efficiency while saving on care costs.

The car maker Toyota has an extremely efficient and organized model in place that is now improving care delivery at safety net hospitals in the nation, like Harbor-UCLA. While private hospitals have already implemented this model, it's a novel idea for safety net hospitals that cater to the low-income population who now have insurance coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

While some critics are skeptical on how well a car manufacturer's process could translate into healthcare, supporters have complete faith in the model. Analysis by the California HealthCare Foundation, which has helped fund the project at Harbor-UCLA and 4 San Francisco Bay Area hospitals—San Francisco General Hospital, Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, San Mateo Medical Center, and the Alameda Health System—says that the model has had direct, positive results, such as reducing the time patients spent at the hospital and decreasing medication errors, while saving money.

Read more at Kaiser Health News.