Lean manufacturing concepts have origins that go back to Eli Whitney’s cotton gin and interchangeable parts. This methodology was refined during the WWI and WWII for efficiently mass producing war equipment. In the 1970s it was perfected by Toyota in what is commonly referred to as “the Toyota Production System.” With the tremendous success of Lean thinking in manufacturing, these performance improvement (PI) concepts have slowly migrated into healthcare. Because of the significant amount of patient

and staff movement, tasks, and communication, discharge planning shows tremendous opportunities for Lean initiatives.