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How Healthcare Hiring Assessments Support a Lean Culture

December 17, 2015

Having a Lean culture is not only about cutting costs and creating efficiency, but in healthcare hiring it also improves patient satisfaction scores. A recent report in FierceHealthcare confirms:“After applying the Toyota's Lean strategies, ThedaCare saw monthly direct cost per case drop up to 20 percent between 2006 and 2010. The number of "excellent" patient satisfaction ratings jumped from 68 percent in 2006 to 95 percent in 2010, noted AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality).”

The concept of Lean in healthcare has been around for almost a decade now. Why haven’t more hospitals seen success similar to ThedaCare’s? In fact, many hospitals invest a great deal of time and money into their LEAN journey with only marginal results. One problem we’ve seen is that hospitals try to adopt LEAN with little attention to the important workforce cultural issues.

Toyota wants its team members to develop the highest level of accountability and ownership. While Toyota’s culture certainly fosters these characteristics, the process is successful because they hire employees who have the capacity to succeed. Michael Hoseus, co-author of the bestseller, Toyota Culture, the Heart and Soul of the Toyota Way, notes that companies sometimes focus on the process of Lean, while neglecting the underlying talent approach:

“Most companies miss seeing the blood flow of TPS – the human resource philosophies and strategies that make it work at Toyota.”

Training and process change only go so far. The people being trained must have the basic foundational abilities. At its core, the hiring and promotion process must be built around the competencies necessary to succeed in a Lean environment. Our clients know this and use our healthcare-specific assessments to design a hiring process that focuses on Lean competencies like collaboration, respect for colleagues, empowerment and innovation – competencies not often emphasized in the training of healthcare professionals. 

Learn more by viewing our recent webinar on HR Strategies to Support a Lean Culture, featuring Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Healthcare Hiring Essentials


Bryan Warren Bryan Warren is the President of J3 Personica, a consulting, assessment, training, and coaching firm, and a guest blogger for PSI. Bryan is an expert in progressive talent strategies, with a particular focus on leader and physician selection and development.