Masters Thesis

Lean thinking effectiveness in hospital emergency departments

Emergency department overcrowding has exhibited an increasing trend, as described through the length of stay metric reported by hospital systems through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a United States federal government program. This thesis explores the significance lean thinking provides to reducing this metric. Data retrieved from CMS is analyzed to establish an appropriate test statistic. Results from the independent t-test suggest no significant difference in length of stay in response to utilizing lean thinking. Recent data does not support lean thinking as an effective tool to reduce length of stay to alleviate overcrowding in the emergency department. This thesis adds to the lean thinking body of knowledge by providing an analysis of the effectiveness of lean thinking across emergency department healthcare systems, from which improvements in lean thinking implementation may be measured against.