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About the course

Learn how to build a common operating or improvement system by applying Lean thinking to healthcare processes. Topics include Lean principles, case studies and hands-on healthcare simulations.


The Lean Healthcare Program is a four-day, intensive course designed for health system leaders looking to learn Lean concepts and tools and apply them rapidly to their organizations. Organizations applying these principles benefit from improved quality, reduced costs and an enhanced culture of continuous improvement. If deployed widely, Lean thinking in healthcare can take off 25% or more of total costs by eliminating wastes. To put this into perspective, 25% of $2.8 trillion is $700 million in cost reductions each year.

The program combines Lean theory, case studies and hands-on simulations wrapped around the renowned Toyota Production System (TPS). Participants will learn to apply over 20 tools unique to lean transformations including value stream mapping (VSM), visual management, standardized work and A3 problem-solving. The program includes Hoshin Kanri and Daily Lean systems, making this the most effective Lean program available. The combination of lectures, case studies and exercises ensures that participants own the skills when they complete the program.

Benefits to you:

  • Greatly reduce costs without significant headcount reductions
  • Improve access and waiting time
  • Improve quality and safety
  • Improve patient and employee satisfaction
  • Create a culture of continuous improvement, including root-cause problem solving

Course Agenda

Day One: Lean Healthcare Overview with ED Simulation

An overview of Lean history, philosophy, Toyota House Model, building a Culture of Continuous Improvement, and the Foundation Lean tools will be presented to help participants understand the universal application of Lean to all processes in any industry. Participants will learn these principles and immediately apply them to a simulated Emergency Department (ED).

Day Two: Lean Tools for Healthcare Applications with ED Simulation

Just-in-time, built-in quality and other people-focused Lean tools will be presented along with more hands-on exercises throughout the day to demonstrate how to use and apply Lean tools in the daily work environment. Participants will also continue to transform their simulated ED using these new principles. As they do, they will see and understand the tools better as they apply them in an exciting way.

Day Three: Big Picture Lean and Value Stream Mapping for Healthcare

Participants are introduced to value-stream mapping (VSM), Hoshin Kanri (Strategy Deployment), Lean Projects and Daily Lean. Hands-on exercises include: Hoshin-Catchball, Scoping, Project setup, Current, Ideal, Future State mapping, and VSM group exercise.

Day Four: A3 Problem Solving and Lean Leadership

An overview of Lean problem-solving methods and A3 problem-solving reporting processes will be presented along with hands-on exercises. Small teams will practice A3 root-cause problem-solving using real-life situations. Participants will also develop their own 100-day action plans based on new knowledge gained from this comprehensive certificate program.

Michael Baratz and Steve Hoeft will conduct a Lean Healthcare Leadership panel on the last day of the seminar with tips on deploying Lean system-wide. Instruction is based on utilizing the experience built through years of application in the field.

Dr. Bob Pryor (COO/CMO Baylor Scott & White, past-CEO Scott & White) and Steve Hoeft are co-authors of a new book that will be distributed as part of the course: The Power of Ideas to Transform Healthcare: Engaging Staff by Building Daily Lean Management Systems. This text references and explains various approaches and examples cultivated during their extensive hands-on time, as a valuable resource to students.

Upon completion of the course, participants will take an exam to earn a Lean Healthcare Certificate from The University of Texas at Austin.

Who should attend

Healthcare leaders, administrators, physicians, nurses, insurance professionals, clinical staff, engineers, analysts and any key staff members

Trust the experts

Steve Hoeft

Steve is a practitioner, teacher, and thought leader in applying Toyota Production System (aka, Lean) principles to unique processes in healthcare, government, new product development, supply chains, procurement and manufacturing. Steve has been called into the board rooms of dozens of our nation...


Michael Baratz

Michael is a practitioner, teacher, and thought leader in applying Toyota Production System (i.e., Lean) principles in healthcare. Michael serves as Vice President of Baylor Scott & White's Operations Excellence team. He has led the Continuous Improvement efforts for five years at this progre...


Course reviews

Lean for Healthcare and Non-Manufacturing