EMERGENCY, definition: a sudden, unexpected and usually dangerous situation that calls for immediate action1

The core chapters of this book provided detailed information on the concepts, principles and implementation of Lean in the healthcare environment. It was critical to provide the reader with a broad foundation on the application of Lean in healthcare so one can see the how it can be applied throughout the continuum of care from the emergency room to surgery to the laboratory. Lean concepts and tools can begin in any clinical or non-clinical support area within the integrated delivery system and be universally applied. To yield the full benefits there must be a plan to disseminate the identification of waste in order to strive for zero defects, and successfully achieve the goal of triple aim:

1. improving the health of the population, 2. enhancing the experience of care (quality and satisfaction) value), and 3. reducing the per capita cost

For many patients the Emergency Department (ED) is the entry point and often their first experience with the healthcare system. The definition alone sets the expectation of the patient as he or she enters the ED. They often find the emergency room environment does not meet their expectation of an urgent response to the situation especially if they are deemed in triage as are non-emergent.