Evaluating the deployment of lean culture in three Quebec healthcare institutions
April 4, 2013
The HEC Montréal Pôle santé and the interdisciplinary chair in research and intervention in health (IRISS) at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) have jointly won a call for proposals launched by the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec (MSSS). Together, they will evaluate the deployment of lean culture and its application by the main stakeholders at three institutions selected in late 2011 by the MSSS to implement projects using the Lean Healthcare Six Sigma approach. The researchers will receive a $300,000 grant to carry out the project, which will run until late 2014.
Lean projects, focusing on the needs of the patient or user, are essentially intended to implement new practices and reach performance objectives (quality, accessibility, continuity, efficiency, safety, etc.). In each of the healthcare institutions selected1 for the implementation of a lean approach, 10 clinical, administrative and clinical/administrative processes are now under review. For the MSSS, the objective is to improve the institutions’ performance and, by extension, that of the healthcare system as a whole.
The research team responsible for evaluating the project will mainly be involved in:
- designing data-collection tools (questionnaires, interview grids and discussion groups) and evaluation tools;
- designing and fine-tuning self-evaluation tools for assessing the maturity of the lean culture, in operational, organizational and cultural terms and from the viewpoint of the project, structure and leadership; the tools will be tailored to the needs of all the institutions in the healthcare system.
Knowledge transfer will also be a priority. In this respect, the researchers will:
- prepare case studies on the different projects examined;
- share their findings and formulate recommendations to support the decision-making process (through the MSSS committee);
- give lectures, take part in seminars and study days, and publish professional articles.
The work will require proper definition of lean culture maturity vectors and thorough documentation of the key success factors leading to evidence-based results. A summary report with findings and recommendations will be submitted in late 2014.
The Pôle santé and the IRISS Chair will jointly assign about ten management, engineering and clinical science researchers to the applied research project, along with a number of graduate and post-graduate students. Their wide range of expertise will make it possible to grasp the complexity of the milieu, from an interdisciplinary perspective. The team will be jointly directed by Marie-Hélène Jobin, Full Professor in Logistics and Operations Management at HEC Montréal and Director of the Pôle Santé, and Denis Lagacé, Full Professor with the UQTR Industrial Engineering Department and co-holder of the IRISS Chair.
1. Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec, Centre de santé et de services sociaux du Sud-Ouest–Verdun and Centre de santé et de services sociaux Jardins-Roussillon.