Applying the Toyota Production System to a Healthcare Organization: A Case Study on a Rural Community Healthcare Provider
Quality Management Journal, Vol. 14, No. 4, 2007
12 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2007 Last revised: 19 Apr 2017
Over the last five decades the Toyota Production System (TPS) has evolved from an advanced sociotechnical concept in manufacturing to a participative design for large-scale change management. Toyota has been able to sustain a strategic competitive advantage by applying TPS as a process innovation and intervention, as measured by quality, reliability, productivity, cost reduction, sales and market share growth, and market capitalization. Many organizations are trying to replicate Toyota's success with TPS in their respective business/industry environments. It could be argued that the correlation between the application of TPS as part of organizational strategy and Toyota's documented success in achieving the aforementioned outcomes creates an "industrial engineering paradigm" or "social change intervention" that crosses multiple industries. In this light, TPS can be a powerful intervention technique, even in industries unaccustomed to advanced production techniques such as the healthcare industry. Because the healthcare industry is under enormous pressure to reduce costs, increase reliability and quality, and enhance organizational effectiveness, TPS-like interventions are significant to healthcare organizations. This article captures the process of applying TPS to a health care organization. It analyzes the challenges, problems, and outcomes, and addresses remedies for enhancing the success of TPS implementation.
Keywords: healthcare, patient safety, quality, Toyota Production System
JEL Classification: D2, I1, I2, M1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation