Leveling the Workload for Radiologists in Diagnostic Mammography: Application of Lean Principles and Heijunka

Amy L Conners, Sean E. Clark, Kathleen R. Brandt, Katie N. Hunt, Linda M. Chida, Laura C. Tibor, Royce L. Ruter, Sadia A. Khanani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To facilitate the delivery of accurate and timely care to patients in complex environments, process improvement methodologies such as Lean can be very effective. Lean is a quality improvement methodology that seeks to add value for patients and employees by continuously improving processes and eliminating waste. At our institution, Lean principles were applied to improve efficiency and minimize waste in the diagnostic breast imaging reading room. This paper describes how we applied Lean principles, including plan-do-study-act testing, level-loading (heijunka), and visual management, to level the workload of the diagnostic radiologists in our practice. Implementation of these principles to improve the diagnostic workflow in breast imaging is described along with examples from our practice, including challenges and future opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-69
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Breast Imaging
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Keywords

  • diagnostic mammography
  • heijunka
  • Lean
  • radiologist workflow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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