Lean Action Research Collaborative

Lean Action Research Learning Collaborative

CLEAR’s Lean Action Research Learning Collaborative (LARLC) brings together leading hospitals/health systems that aim to use lean as an overall operating system to culturally transform and continuously improve the value of care delivered to patients. The purpose of the LARLC is to support learning through objective evaluation of the uptake, spread, and/or effects of lean-based initiatives. This information is fed back to LARLC members for change initiation and change management or continuous improvement purposes. The ultimate goal is to produce and share actionable knowledge that will accelerate each organization’s progress in achieving their strategic and operational goals. 

LARLC member health systems/hospitals: 

LARLC’s research goals are to:

  1. Work collaboratively with its organizational members to understand the implementation or effects of lean-based initiatives and factors that influence success.
  2. Disseminate the results of the lean research via conferences and meetings, including CLEAR’s Annual Research Symposium. These meetings will serve as a forum for all participants to discuss the findings and apply the results to improve the implementation of lean at each member organization.
  3. Disseminate the results of the LARLC research projects through publication in peer-reviewed journals; media outlets, webinars and related sources.
  4. Where feasible and relevant, develop case studies of successful lean implementations in healthcare organizations that can be used in executive education and related educational programs

The Collaborative has focused on the development of a reliable, valid, and operationally manageable assessment instrument to assess the maturity of a hospital’s lean management system. It was designed to assess on multiple dimensions of lean management in hospitals (e.g., enabling characteristics, lean practices, leadership behaviors, and relational coordination). Please contact us for the most recent version of this instrument.

Other examples of research topics:

  1. Examination of the relationship between the comprehensiveness of lean implementation, the level of physician participation in lean thinking and practices, and physician burnout in hospitals and clinics.
  2. Evaluation of organizational performance through benchmarking of an organization’s contextual factors, lean implementation, and intermediate outcomes.
  3. Description of the use of a Daily Management System (DMS) for COVID-19 response and recovery based on interviews with executive leaders, clinical leaders, and frontline staff in LARLC member organizations.
  4. Study of Lean leader behaviors and practices to advance strategic goals in U.S. health systems, including health equity and workforce diversity, equity & inclusion. Topics include humble inquiry, PDSA and modeling a problem-solving mindset, vertical catchball, performance visibility, and accountability as a leader competency.                          
    Questions about joining the Collaborative can be emailed to CLEAR@berkeley.edu.