Muda is the Japanese word for waste. In LEAN, we refer to any activity that does not add value to the customer but adds cost as waste or muda. There are eight types of waste: defects, motion, waiting, confusion, processing, over production and transport.
Eliminating waste is not the objective for continuous improvement. Waste is an indicator of a root cause. LEAN strives to eliminate the root cause of the waste. When we look at any organization, we find waste everywhere. When waste is eliminated, we save time and money, allowing us to better serve our patients, residents and their families. That results in increased HCAHPS scores, patient satisfaction scores, employee satisfaction, and profitability.
The Eight Mudas
Muda or Waste
|Defects||Work that has errors or mistakes||Billing errors, medication errors, lab errors, incomplete paper work|
|Motion||Unnecessary movement that adds no value to a process||Looking for missing files, excess movement of people or supplies because of poor layout|
|Waiting||Time that adds no value to a process while waiting for an essential input||Waiting for a physician in the ER, waiting for someone to come to a meeting waiting for lab results.|
|Confusion||employees who aren’t sure exactly what they are supposed to do.||Unclear medication instructions, two people doing the same job in different ways.|
|Processing||Activities that add no value to a process that the customer pays for.||Paperwork|
|Overproduction||Unnecessary work||Electronic medical records and paper charting|
|Inventory||More material on hand than necessary||Overstocked supplies, unavailable necessary supplies|
|Transport||Unnecessary movement of people and material||Movement of patients from ER to lab for a test then back to the lab|