Redesigning care at the Flinders Medical Centre: clinical process redesign using "lean thinking"

Med J Aust. 2008 Mar 17;188(S6):S27-31. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2008.tb01671.x.


*The Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) Redesigning Care program began in November 2003; it is a hospital-wide process improvement program applying an approach called "lean thinking" (developed in the manufacturing sector) to health care. *To date, the FMC has involved hundreds of staff from all areas of the hospital in a wide variety of process redesign activities. *The initial focus of the program was on improving the flow of patients through the emergency department, but the program quickly spread to involve the redesign of managing medical and surgical patients throughout the hospital, and to improving major support services. *The program has fallen into three main phases, each of which is described in this article: "getting the knowledge"; "stabilising high-volume flows"; and "standardising and sustaining". *Results to date show that the Redesigning Care program has enabled the hospital to provide safer and more accessible care during a period of growth in demand.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers / organization & administration
  • Appointments and Schedules*
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • New South Wales
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Patient Care Planning / organization & administration*
  • Patient Care Planning / standards
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Patient Care Team / statistics & numerical data