Promoting health – During the past autumn, Master's degree students took part in piloting Lean management on the Tikkurila campus. The study entity comprising 15 credits finished on Friday, 11 December.
The students who took part in the study unit started their studies in January 2015, and have previously completed an education for nurses, practical nurses, sosionomis (Bachelor of Social Services) or physiotherapists. The majority of them currently work in the public sector. During the Lean study entity, they familiarised themselves with the Lean philosophy, theory and practices, and investigated its possibilities and suitability in the context of their own work.
The core principle in Lean thinking is to strive to minimize any unproductive activity – "loss" – in the daily work. Lean emphasises continuous development, openness to change as well as engaging the whole personnel in developing operation.
In the last meeting of the study unit, students presented Lean cases in which they had examined themes and processes that had arisen from their own work and to which they had applied Lean thinking. Lean instructor Peter Kanerva, who lead the study entity, and Juuso Eloranta, who works as project manager of the Lean group at the HUS Medical Imaging Centre of the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District, were also present.
- The entire HUS has chosen Lean as a strategic method for further development, Juuso Eloranta explains.
- At a more general level this is linked to the cultural transformation in the field of social services and health care, in which the expertise of the people doing practical work is made use of more efficiently in developing the operation.
Peter Kanerva agrees with Eloranta and stresses that it is specifically in the field of social services and health care that Lean thinking has a lot to offer.
- It is essential that people who work in health care services are outstanding professionals who strive to make their own work as functional, efficient and meaningful as possible day by day.
Master's students Minna Hiiros, Marko Munkka and Virve Ristolainen have been pleased with what the Lean study entity has offered. According to them, it has been easy to find links between the studies, and their own work and work community.
- It is a fact that there will not be more money in the future, so streamlining work and operation – especially where different operations meet – is extremely valuable, says Hiiros, who works as a head nurse.
- Lean has stimulated a lot of discussion among us. Once we understand certain principles, we are no longer talking about difficult matters, says Ristolainen, a nurse.