A Litany of Medical Mistakes

Doctors Remove Healthy Kidney from Cancer Patient

If you’re new to the idea of “lean healthcare” and the drastic need for improvement, read this article. Most likely, you’re reading this as a non medical professional. But think about the obvious error proofing methods and simple things that could be put in place to prevent these errors. It’s simply inexcusable that errors like these occur, they are most certainly preventable. As lean professionals, we should be knocking down the doors offering to help.

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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.


  1. Lee says

    Devastating examples of just how seriously in need of error proofing the healthcare industry is. Mistakes like this are just inexcusable.

  2. Mark Graban says

    I think it’s important to remember that most of the mistakes are due to the system, not due to bad doctors. Sure, some medical mistakes are due to gross negligence, but the fact that so many problems like this occurs reflects the idea that the problems are systemic. I heard someone say the goal of medical error proofing is to “help prevent good doctors from making bad mistakes.”

    Anyway, my goal is not to beat up on doctors, unless they have no interest in helping error proof the system.

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