Toyota Principles Help Improve Outcomes, Cost Savings at ThedaCare

ThedaCare, based in Appleton, Wis., launched a pilot project from 2007 to 2009 that resulted in significant improvements to patient outcomes and healthcare costs.


In 2007, the healthcare organization adopted Toyota Production System principles to address a range of concerns, including risk of medical errors, poor communication among clinicians, inefficient nursing care, length-of-stay and healthcare costs.

The care plan strategies ThedaCare implemented included the following:

•    A bedside visit by clinician team at admissions
•    Formation of a unified care plan with input from the patient
•    Daily bedside conferences by multidisciplinary teams
•    Periodic reviews to monitor patients' progress
•    Enhancements to physical design and staffing structures

Comparing outcomes in 2006 (year before implementation) and 2010, ThedaCare saw a 15 to 20 percent decrease in cost per case and a 10 to 15 percent decrease in average length of stay. The organization also saw better adherences to recommended care processes across the enterprise, 11 percent higher nurse productivity and increased physician, staff and patient satisfaction.

To learn more about ThedaCare's Toyota project, click here.

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