U-M hospital takes page from Toyota [the broken link was removed] by Sharon Terlep. This continues the trend (trend rather than fad because I like that it is happening :-)) of hospitals adopting lean management methods.
This article gets some of the ideas down but I think presents them in a fairly confusing way. So take this for what it is a report on one more hospital trying these ideas. Then read the many available resources to learn about one-piece flow, poka-yoke, eliminating waste, identifying errors, kaizen… rather than relying on this article. The purpose of this article is just to report on the new methods being used at the hospital not provide a detailed report on exactly how the new methods actually work – that would take a much longer form of presentation than a short newspaper article.