Authorship and contributorship Ulf Aasebø: main author, implemented the Lean project; Hans Henrik Strøm: participated in the writing process; Merete Postmyr: project manager, responsible for statistics, contributed in the writing process.
The Lean method as a clinical pathway facilitator in patients with lung cancer
Article first published online: 15 NOV 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
The Clinical Respiratory Journal
Volume 6, Issue 3, pages 169–174, July 2012
How to Cite
Aasebø, U., Strøm, H. H. and Postmyr, M. (2012), The Lean method as a clinical pathway facilitator in patients with lung cancer. The Clinical Respiratory Journal, 6: 169–174. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-699X.2011.00271.x
Ethics This study has been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki.
Conflict of interest The authors have stated explicitly that there are no conflicts of interest in connection with this article.
- Issue published online: 14 JUN 2012
- Article first published online: 15 NOV 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 26 SEP 2011 04:26AM EST
- Received: 21 November 2010; Revision requested: 11 July 2011; Accepted: 12 September 2011
- Lean method;
- lung cancer;
- patient pathway
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.
Please cite this paper as: Aasebø U, Strøm HH and Postmyr M. The Lean method as a clinical pathway facilitator in patients with lung cancer. Clin Respir J 2012; 6: 169–174.