Delivery of healthcare systems to people who find them unaffordable in their present manifestations has given rise to a new concept called lean healthcare. A philosophy based on quality improvement in healthcare services while simultaneously keeping the costs controllable, lean healthcare has found acceptance in developed as well as developing countries.
While developing countries saw this philosophy as a necessity because of the large number of people who found it difficult to access basic healthcare services, developed countries that spent a large percentage of their GDP on healthcare services saw this as a means of improving the contemporary methods of ensuring optimal healthcare for everyone.
Healthcare providers are becoming acutely aware that eliminating waste while improving quality and safety are proving to be effective strategies for responding to the challenges in healthcare systems. Besides eliminating waste in medical practices, healthcare professionals are now striving to get rid of cumbersome information technology systems that increase the cost of services to patients. Scientific observations and experiments have now made it possible to reduce inadvertent errors and oversights, which inflated expenditure and posed a risk to patient safety. Lean principles in healthcare are emerging rapidly by creating a system that is truly responsive to the needs of the patients.