According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there were 15,600 nursing homes in the United States in 2016. Older data from 1997 has the information for 10 countries*. Lean methodologies are being used to improve elderly care. We’ll look at two applications one from Singapore and another from Michigan. Then we’ll finish with a video of life in a Japanese nursing home.

*Source: USA, Japan, Iceland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Denmark, UK, Switzerland, Italy, and France


Implementing Lean Thinking in Nursing Homes: Singapore


In a two-part series of articles, authors Mark Tan and David Leong discuss Lean implementation in nursing homes.

Implementing Lean thinking in nursing homes (Part 1):

The main problem was inadequate nurse staffing for morning shifts which included assisted bathing duties.

Part 1 included:

  • Swim Lane of Morning Bathing Process
  • Morning Shift Activity Chart
You can read part 1 here.

Implementing Lean thinking in nursing homes (Part 2):

Part 2 continues discussing the Lean implementation project.

Part 2 included:

  • Fishbone Diagram for Nurses Unable to Complete Residents’ bathing by 8:30am
  • Standardized Work for the Bathing Process
  • Spaghetti Diagram of Nurses’ Morning Movements

At the end of the project the nursing home achieved a planned outcome of bathing 90% of the

residents by 9 am.

You can read part 2 here.


Lean Management Principles for Skilled Nursing: USA-Michigan


In a short article from Leading Age titled “Incorporating Lean Management Principles in Skilled Nursing,” authors Maureen McGee and Mike Logan discuss how Wellspring Lutheran Services  incorporated Lean management principles into its referral/admissions process for 5 skilled nursing communities.

You can read their article here.


Life in a Japanese Nursing Home


In a video from the YouTube channel Life Where I’m From, we see what a Japanese nursing home is like.


You can view the video here.



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