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Clin Respir J. 2012 Jul;6(3):169-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-699X.2011.00271.x. Epub 2011 Nov 15.

The Lean method as a clinical pathway facilitator in patients with lung cancer.

Author information

1
Heart and Lung Clinic, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø, Norway. ulf.aasebo@unn.no

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Patient flow during workup for lung cancer is often difficult to influence because of delay at many levels: patient delay, doctors' delay and waiting time for X-ray and CT scan, referral to specialist, and waiting time for chemotherapy and radiotherapy or surgery. A mean workup time of 4 months is not unusual.

OBJECTIVES:

To improve quality and shorten the workup time for patients with lung cancer.

METHODS:

It was decided to employ a program designed by the Toyota car industry, the Lean process, as a tool to improve workup time. A Lean process implicates all levels of an institution with project and focus groups having workshops to analyse present status and suggest improvements.

RESULTS:

Since introducing the Lean project, we have decreased the workup time from a mean of 64 days to 16 days, and the median time from diagnosis to surgery was reduced from 26.5 days to 15 days.

CONCLUSION:

It is feasible to improve patient flow for patients with lung cancer by employing the Lean method as a pathway instrument.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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