Health Tech IT Help Desk Case Study

Case Study: Health Tech IT Help Desk Case Study

Project Name:

Launch of a hospital-wide lean transformation program with the active support of the HR and nursing departments along with senior management.


Health/Hospital Management


  • deployment of Lean management across a variety of departments
  • large-scale adoption of Lean resulting in identification of problem areas and practices
  • establishment of a lean culture of continuous improvement that resulted in tangible improvements

The Challenge

After visiting hospitals in France and the Canada, a Brussels-area hospital realized it needed lean thinking to keep pace with future trends and challenges. To achieve this, they set a goal to train front-line staff in Lean management specifically tailored to the hospital-based healthcare environment. This involved empowerment, engagement and leadership. Also on the agenda were data-driven systematic improvements and process stability.

Adoption was positive and universal. HR saw this as a way to boost employee engagement to better support the organization, while the nursing department saw the process as a way to attain another level of professional accreditation.


The hospital turned to Zerwaste who developed a working plan and spearheaded the formation of a steering committee. Employees were invited to an “Introduction to Lean” workshop, along with a presentation from the CEO, who reinforced the principles and objectives of the project, specifically that every employee would be expected to actively look for improvement ideas that would provide more value to patients. Leaders and physicians were required to attend a “Lean leadership” workshop.

Using A3 methodology, employees from all levels supplied inspiration for more than 100 improvement projects. The Lean initiative was launched in the fall of 2011 and was deployed systematically for two and a half years in every nursing ward, including the ICU. The positive results that came from this allowed us to apply the Lean methodology to other departments including surgery, emergency and outpatient services.

The five fundamentals of the program included:

  • improved performance
  • better-organized departments
  • visible work status information
  • enhanced patient journey reports
  • successful management gemba walks
  • use of evidence-based practice and research


Improvements were based on how people use and interact with the workplace. Specific improvements included:

  • time saved during the patient admission process
  • increased time available for direct patient care
  • easier preparation and dissemination of patient care status reports
  • improved shift handovers/reports
  • root cause analysis and collection of data regarding function and condition of wards and departments

The initial deployment of lean methodologies has now spread to other areas of the hospital, allowing for the identification of hidden problems or wasted resources and immediate implementation of better practices. 

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