Lean Operation in Service Industry, Bahri Dental Group -the First Lean Dentist-.

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Bahri dental group is located at Jacksonville in Florida. Dr.Bahri the founder of this dental group took the lean concept and applied it in his office. Since he was the first one to implement lean concepts in his clinic, he was recognised as the first lean dentist. For his effort, he was awarded by the “ Utah State University” and the “Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing”. In bahri dental group, there are many numerous specialties offering which include Esthetic and Cosmetic Dentistry, Root Canal Therapy, Crown and Bridge, Dental veneers, Teeth Whitening, Porcelain Crowns, Periodontics and Prosthodontics. Dr.Bahri and his staffs ‘s mission is not only to restoring patient's teeth and gums to health, but focuses on preventative care and patient education. (http://www.bahridentalgroup.com)

For the history of lean, James Womack is the father of lean and also the Founder and Chairman of Lean Enterprise. He adopted the “Flow” from FORD production and Toyota Production System (TPS) in to lean principles. He wrote Five Principle of Lean Production and authored the books called Lean Thinking & Lean Solution. (www.lean.org/WhoWeAre/LeanPerson.cfm?LeanPersonId=1 - 15k)

Lean operations is the practice of producing goods and services by eliminating all sorts of wastes (which would normally arise in the traditional mass production system). It aims at reducing wastes, investment in tools and equipment, manufacturing and operating space, human effort, engineering time to develop a new product, capital, and most importantly, time.

In our case, The Bahri Dental Group, Dr. Bahri aimed at elimination of these seven kinds of wastes, which according to him, was most important for bringing about successful lean operations. Also, he correctly understood that the most important step that needed to be taken was the ‘identification of wastes’ in his operations. (www.lean.org/Community/Registered/ArticleDocuments/LeanDentistStory.pdf) 1.Overproduction: Printing unneeded paperwork; setting up a treatment cubicle before a dental patient arrives. 2.Waiting: Hygienist waiting for doctor to examine her patient’s teeth; waiting for instruments being sterilized. 3.Conveyance: Printing forms away from the cubicle then walking to get them; receiving shipments in a location not near the treatment area. And most importantly, patients have to travel back and forth at least three times instead of just once, so that they can get a root canal, and say a filling. 4.Over processing: Making unneeded reports and copies, over-analyzing data; analyzing patient schedule more than one week ahead since it might change; printing receipts when patients do not owe money; printing more x-rays than needed for an insurance claim. 5.Inventory: Excess office supplies or brochures; messages and requests in email inboxes; unfinished treatment plans. In a dental office, unfinished patient treatment plans are inventory because they require resources to be spent on follow-up in the form of reports to identify patients with incomplete treatments and mailing letters to these patients. A leaner approach is to finish the whole treatment plan in one appointment if possible. 6.Motion: Looking for documents; walking to printers or other offices; looking for instruments outside a cubicle; walking to the front desk to collect payments; filing and retrieving paper charts. 7.Correction: errors in data, web pages, invoices, customer orders, treatment plan estimates, insurance estimates, or appointments. The above seven wastes corresponds to the wastes that lean operations normally tries to eliminate (over production, transportation, waiting, inventory, motion, over processing and defects). In order to implement lean, he had to first ‘visualize’ and develop a future state map. This required him to think on what he wanted to change in his clinic from the way it currently was. That was followed by his ‘plan’ development, to know ‘how’ he...
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