An Important Application of Personal Kaizen

Comprehensive Drug & Alcohol Treatment Facility is First of its Kind in the State

Former classmate and blog reader Chris and I always used to joke about “PDCA-ing your life.” Maybe it’s not that funny, but we were at MIT.

The article I’ve linked to here is no laughing matter, the application of PDCA principles to help treat addiction:

The use of orthomolecular therapy and the inclusion of aftercare aren’t the only features that distinguish Arche Wellness from other treatment facilities, however. They also utilize the Toyota Production System’s philosophy of “Kaizen,” or continuous improvement, to help achieve success. In other words, the program is an ongoing cycle of planning, implementing, refining and analyzing. Clients undergo repeated testing and therapeutic trials to fine-tune their treatment.

PDCA or PIRA, it’s still the same approach. I’d be interested to learn more about how they learned about TPS or how they thought to apply it to addiction treatment.

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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. robert says

    Lifehacker ran an article on the power of personal kaizen a while back ( They took the approach and merged it with Getting Things Done. Very interesting and worth a look.


  2. Mark Graban says

    Thanks Rob, great article you linked to there. I’ll comment on that article (or maybe Dan Markovitz will). It’s easy to confuse the book “Getting Things Done” with the hoshin kanri “Getting the Right Things Done.” I wonder if the title of that latter was an intentional play on the former?

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