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Guest Editorial August 2011

Clare Price-DowdThe guest editorial for August was written by Clare Price-Dowd, who presented on the topic The Lean Simulation Suitcase - an easy way to teach the principles of Lean in any organisation during the Expert on Call on 18 August 2011.  Follow this link to the recording of the session.




The Lean Simulation Suitcase

Clare Price-Dowd is the Lead Associate for training at the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement.  Clare started her NHS career as a nurse and health visitor before developing her interest in education firstly as a clinical practice educator then in higher education. Clare was the Subject Head for Interprofessional Programmes at the NHSU before joining the NHS Institute’s Learning Team 6 years ago where she had led on a range of learning developments including the NHS Institute Fellowship Scheme,  Quality Assurance Framework,  improvement e-learning packages and the development of pre-registration improvement programmes for use throughout the NHS in England.

The current context

The need to improve services and raise quality whilst reducing costs has never been greater.  Lean is one or a range of improvement tools that can contribute to this agenda by focussing on the elimination of waste and wasteful activities.  The core of lean is to maximise customer value and lean organisations focus their key processes to continuously increase it. Lean thinking creates a shift in emphasis from the performance of individual units within an organisation to the flow of products and services across the whole organisation including customers. The emphasis on eliminating waste means that lean organisations create processes that need less human effort,  space, capital, and time to make products and services  than  at far less costs traditional business systems. 

Having originated in the automotive industry, a popular misconception is that lean is suited only for manufacturing. This is not the case. Lean has been used successfully in many health care organisations. It is not a cost reduction programme in its own right, but one of the many benefits seen is reduced cost. 

What is the Lean Simulation Suitcase?

The Lean Simulation Suitcase is a complete training product that teaches the principles of lean though participation in an interactive game. The kit consists of all necessary equipment, role descriptions for participants and a complete facilitator guide. There is a DVD included which contains a PowerPoint presentation of the theoretical content and other resources needed to make the event easy to set up and run. The kit is re-usable requiring the purchaser only to replenish stocks of A4 paper each time it is used.

What will I learn?

The Expert on Call session covers:

  • The content of the Lean Simulation Suitcase
  • How to run a simulation using the Lean Simulation Suitcase 
  • How the programme helps staff to understand and apply lean techniques in their work place
  • How an understanding of lean can benefit staff in your organisation