TOC in the emergency room

Applying lean to your glaring constraints makes things better for doctors, patients and support personnel

By Vinny Monteiro

To improve any process, the most effective method is to follow a structured set of steps to identify and remove the limiting factors inherent to the system. This approach works remarkably well, as illustrated by the recent success of improving emergency department operations at a hospital in Texas. This hospital’s operational excellence team used a framework known as the theory of constraints (TOC) as well as lean techniques to find and address the problems in the system, experiencing a high level of success in nearly every area in less than 90 days.

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