By August 17, 2005 1 Comments Read More →

The State of Lean Healthcare: Critical Mass is Building

Kaizen and Lean Manufacturing thoughts | Gemba Panta Rei

The blog at is always very thoughtfully done. This links to a writeup they did summarizing the status of “lean healthcare”.

Jon Miller cites:

“The main reason why hospitals are not going Lean is still the excuse that “we are different” or that the trainers or consultants in question do not have a healthcare background.

That doesn’t sound too much different than what I’ve heard in factories…. “our factory is more complicated than Toyota”….. “our industry is different”…… “you don’t understand how to make these widgets.”

Hogwash to all of that. I think the best lean perspectives come from a combination of those who do know the current process working alongside those who do NOT know the process. Outside eyes bring fresh perspectives, NOT knowing that product/factory/industry/company can actually be a huge advantage. As the outsider, remember to stay humble and work with your insider partners. Otherwise, you’ll both be frustrated and lose out.

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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an book titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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1 Comment on "The State of Lean Healthcare: Critical Mass is Building"

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  1. JB says:

    Amen Mark!

    It’s the same old story in a relatively new venue.

    Although every company is “unique” the most unique quality they really have is geographic location.

    Lean works in any environment without exception and no matter how “special” or “unique” a company or its’ products are.

    In the end I believe Lean will be embraced by all. I just hope it’s not too late as it was for some in manufacturing

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