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Lean Pharmacy

Lean Sigma Prescription

We have adapted the core principles of Lean Sigma—optimizing flow, increasing speed and reducing waste while eliminating errors—to the pharmacy setting. We have found that surprisingly few improvements require costly or sweeping high-tech “fixes.” Simple, well designed interventions based on scientific observations and experiments can often bring rapid, quantifiable and sustainable improvement. 


  • Adult Outpatient Chemotherapy Pharmacy. New processes for resulted in a 40 percent reduction in lead time for preparation of chemotherapy, a 15 percent reduction in patient risk and lower scores of staff stress.
  • Large Pediatric Hospital Retail Pharmacy. Reduced wait times for prescriptions by 32 percent and increased daily prescription capacity by 46 percent after standardizing after applying Lean for Pharmacy principles to eliminate waste, improve workflow, mistake-proof and standardize operations.
  • Outpatient Retail Pharmacy. Wait times for prescriptions were reduced by 47 percent when the pharmacy was remodeled. Lean Sigma principles were used to better understand patterns of demand for prescriptions, create better flow and create new processes.

Contact Us

Come to the Johns Hopkins campus to learn about Lean for Pharmacy, or we can come to your organization. Contact us to learn more about this offering.

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We've Changed Our Name

The Center for Innovation is now part of the new Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. Learn more about the institute.


Please review training opportunities at the Armstrong Institute for a listing of upcoming workshops and online programs.

Success Story

Trained in Lean SigmaTrained in Lean sigma at Johns Hopkins, an Ohio hospital gets fast results. Read the article.

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