Lean and Tissue Donation

I came across an interesting article from the Dayton Daily News where they discussed how leaders of the Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services teamed up with Lean practitioners from Sinclair Community College.  The article explains that this organization provides grafts — body segments suitable for surgery — from deceased donors.  In 2006, the Dayton center provided 42,499 grafts.

To become more efficient, those leaders turned to Sinclair Community College’s lean manufacturing experts last year. Donna Hoying, of Sinclair’s Advanced Integrated Manufacturing (AIM) center, mapped out ways to cut waste and refocus on hospitals, which are the center’s main customers, they said.

The article goes on to share some of the results of implementing Lean methods.

“Lean” methods helped increase productivity in the center’s demineralized bone matrix operation by 63 percent. The operation provides bone shavings that can be used in dental and spinal surgery.

And finally, how is this for applying Lean methods?  Personally, I think it is pretty cool and while I hope I don’t need to deal with organizations like this for many years… it is nice to see them using Lean Thinking to improve their way of working.

Lean methods also kept machines running longer — machines like the center’s four band saws and two Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machines, which cut and shape bone and tissue donations.