Home > About us > News > Report on evaluating Lean in Saskatchewan health care posted by University of Saskatchewan
February 9, 2016

Report on evaluating Lean in Saskatchewan health care posted by University of Saskatchewan

An initial assessment of the use of Lean in Saskatchewan’s health care system, and proposed method for doing a more in-depth analysis was posted today to the University of Saskatchewan website.

The report, entitled, “A First Phase Evaluation of Saskatchewan’s Lean Health Care Transformation: A Final Report,” was prepared by Dr. Thomas Rotter, Chair in Health Quality Improvement Science at the University of Saskatchewan, and a team of other academics at the university. Research was conducted between March 1, 2013 and May 31, 2014.  The purpose of this phase was to develop a research team and evaluation methodology, and gather some baseline data, in order to carry out a multi-year evaluation of the use of Lean in Saskatchewan health care.

The work was commissioned by the province’s Health Quality Council (HQC), with the support of senior leaders in the health care system, as a first step in having an objective, independent assessment of Lean’s application in this province. The research and report preparation cost $185,000.

Dr. Rotter’s initial assessment included:

  • Interviews with decision-makers and staff of quality improvement offices in 10 health regions;
  • A systematic review of literature relating to the use of Lean in health systems internationally;
  • A look at five health regions’ use of two specific Lean tools: RPIW (Rapid Process Improvement Workshops; and 5S (Sort, Sweep, Standardize, Simply, Self-Discipline);
  • Visits to four regions to interview patients, service providers, and leaders; and,
  • The first stage of an economic evaluation, examining the costs of Lean implementation.

Dr. Rotter has developed an application to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for research funding to carry out the second phase of the work, a multi-year, independent evaluation of the impact of Lean on patient safety and efficiency.

Find the document here