LEAN SIX SIGMA THINKING IN PUBLIC HEALTH: A TRANSFRONTIER INITIATIVE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF INDIVIDUAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL COMPETENCIES FOR MANAGERS, CLINICIANS AND PROFESSIONALS

V. Lapaige

University Laval (CANADA)
In the era of hypermodernity, the rise of a process improvement based on Lean Six Sigma techniques presents a new challenge for the public health managers, clinicians and professionals. Our aim is to present "transfrontier" learning as one of the effective case- and country-specific options towards implementing Lean Six Sigma methods and tools in the public health sector.

Lean Six Sigma is a management fashion (discourse, theory and practice), and a technique for strategic process improvement which aims to improve quality, reducing waste, and disseminating performativity. The roots of Lean Management can be found in the Japanese “Toyota production System/Toyota Management System” (5S, Kaizen, Poka Yoke, Kanban, etc.), being rearticulated later by scholars. Primarily used in the manufacturing context, Lean Management becomes to be popular in the healthcare domain in the 1990s, and recently developed as an innovation in the public sector.

Like other parts of the world, Belgium and the province of Quebec (Canada) are currently exploring multilevel relationships between Lean Management and Six Sigma, enabling a strategic climate to outcomes, and implying changes in the values of the public health management domain. For Belgian and Quebecer public health managers and professionals, Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is a significant threat in to adapt to its negative effects on human health.

Faced with such LSS implied changes, preparedness is crucial in public health.

Two key messages are here highlighted:
(1) a "transfrontier" strategic vision of LSS principles learning is needed. We cannot satisfy ourselves with sectorial (local) approaches in implementing and developing individual and organizational competencies in LSS;
(2) a sustained effort to gather our results related to LSS thinking implementation and learning, and to educate public health managers, clinicians and professionals is crucial to promote an effective organizational change.