The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 504-518

First online:

The Role of Lean Process Improvement in Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices in Behavioral Health Care

  • Bradley SteinfeldAffiliated withGroup Health Cooperative Email author 
  • , Jennifer ScottAffiliated withChildren’s Hospital
  • , Gavin VilanderAffiliated withGroup Health Cooperative
  • , Larry MarxAffiliated withGroup Health Cooperative
  • , Michael QuirkAffiliated with
  • , Julie LindbergAffiliated withMolina Healthcare of Washington
  • , Kelly KoernerAffiliated withEvidence Based Practice Institute

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


To effectively implement evidence-based practices (EBP) in behavioral health care, an organization needs to have operating structures and processes that can address core EBP implementation factors and stages. Lean, a widely used quality improvement process, can potentially address the factors crucial to successful implementation of EBP. This article provides an overview of Lean and the relationship between Lean process improvement steps, and EBP implementation models. Examples of how Lean process improvement methodologies can be used to help plan and carry out implementation of EBP in mental health delivery systems are presented along with limitations and recommendations for future research and clinical application.