Types of Waste

Frequent interruptions, delays, workarounds, and other wasteful activities can have a significant impact on the operating costs and overall organizational capability to deliver safe, timely, efficient, and effective patient care. In Lean terminology, waste can be defined as any tasks and activities that consume resources but don’t create value as specified by the patients and other stakeholders. Efforts to eliminate waste are profoundly important not only for the organization but also for the people involved. Efficient and effective processes allow healthcare professionals to spend more time with patients and provide high quality of care while preventing or reducing detrimental effects of stress, burnout and emotional exhaustion. Taiichi Ohno (1988), who was one of the key people behind the Toyota Production System, identified and defined the original seven types of waste that exist in most organizational work systems and processes. Later on, another type of waste dealing with wasted talent, wasted intellect or underutilized human resources was added to Ohno’s original list. The eight types of waste tend to be highly interconnected. Therefore, when one type of waste exists within a healthcare organization, it is very likely that other types of waste will be found as well. In reality, waste often exists in forms that are not easily detectable or even recognized as waste, making it more difficult to completely eliminate.

 

Types of Waste

 

Types of Waste Description