Lean Strategies in the Operating Room

Stephen T. Robinson, Jeffrey R. Kirsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Lean strategies can be readily applied to health care in general and operating rooms specifically. The emphasis is on the patient as the customer, respect and engagement of all providers, and leadership from management. The strategy of lean is to use continuous improvement to eliminate waste from the care process, leaving only value-added activities. This iterative process progressively adds the steps of identifying the 7 common forms of waste (transportation, inventory, motion, waiting, overproduction, overprocessing, and defects), 5S (sort, simplify, sweep, standardize, sustain), visual controls, just-in-time processing, level-loaded work, and built-in quality to achieve the highest quality of patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-730
Number of pages18
JournalAnesthesiology Clinics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015


  • 5S
  • Just in time production
  • Leader standard work
  • Lean management
  • Level loading
  • Standard work
  • Waste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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