Value stream mapping (VSM) is a lean manufacturing or lean enterprise technique used to document, analyze and improve the flow of information or materials required to produce a product or service for a customer.

In the emergency department, VSM guides teams through a process which helps determine the best course of action for any given issue. For example, VSM is known to help key stakeholders understand the value of utilizing rapid treatment areas (RTAs) in the ED – working in conjunction, VSM and RTAs help decrease wait times, decompress waiting rooms, enable a more efficient assessment of patients and improve the overall patient experience.