Dave and I were having a conversation today about 5s and how it can cross industries. We specifically started talking about Healthcare, Healthcare Reform, and the Obama plan.

5s is a perfect first step for healthcare. It's got a very straightforward approach and covers a wide variety of practices.

A recent Kaiser Permanente project, applied these to a Colorado medicaid enrollment program. They didn't quite get the concepts 100%, but its worth taking a look

There are several books available to help an organization get started. 5S for Healthcare is by Rona consulting and is a good start, but if you're really new I'd start with the excellent 5s Pillars book.

If you're already experienced, you can easily modify an 5s Office based program for healthcare.

I think one of the keys to any lean healthcare or lean clinic initiative is a series of simple first steps. We've worked with healthcare clients for years implementing new technology (everything from electronic health records to portable tablets) and have found if you try a radical change, they'll dig in and refuse any change. However, if you migrate change in slowly and make sure they don't lose the connection to the patient and the process, they'll stick with the new initiative.

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