My Visit with the Lean Dentist, Part 1

Here is a photo of me and Dr. Sami Bahri, the World’s First Lean Dentist. I spent the afternoon at his office, observing their “gemba”, talking with him and with his staff. What an incredible afternoon. I still need to absorb it all, but I will write about some highlights and what I saw.

If you zoom in on the photo, you can see some visual controls… a very manual (yet effective) “andon” system that indicates when somebody in a patient treatment area needs assistance. If you need a hint, it’s the green cards.

That’s good and all, but the Lean Dentist isn’t about “Lean Tools.” It’s a story of Lean Culture and an amazing spirit amongst all of the employees. It was my privilege to be hosted by them today.

Additional Posts: Part 2 | Part 3 | Q&A with Dr. Bahri Part 1 | Part 2

Post continues after ad...

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please scroll down to post a comment. Click here to be notified about posts via email. Learn more about Mark Graban’s speaking, writing, and consulting.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

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. Ron Pereira says

    Wish he was in DFW area.

    My wife tried to reschedule with her dentist and the next opening isn’t until mid DECEMBER!

    Oh my we need lean dentists everywhere.

  2. Mark Graban says

    Sounds like your dentist is just too busy… I have a good one in Keller (does good work… not “lean” but he’s not too busy, so waiting times aren’t bad). Email me if you want info.

  3. Ralf says

    Hi Mark,

    also here in Germany there are good examples of “lean” dentists around. I know at least two -one in Bamberg, the other one in Leipzig- where there is almost no waiting at all.

    Just this morning I had an appointment and was again surprised in a very positive way. After 15 min I had my inlay back in and was out of the door heading towards the office.



    PS.: Perhaps it is worthwhile a story – what do you think?

  4. Mark Graban says

    Ralf – glad to hear you didn’t have to wait. But is that “lean”?

    When I get a chance to write more about Dr. Bahri’s office, you’ll be amazed with how “Lean” they are in terms of attitudes and culture. That’s the thing that counts, not the use of tools, not even lack of waiting time (because the office might just be very underutilized and not busy, hence no waiting).

  5. The Lean Dentist, Revisited — Lean Blog

    […] long admired the Lean work of Sami Bahri, DDS and I consider him a friend (and have had a chance to visit his office in Jacksonville). Another friend of this blog, Paul Levy recently wrote about Sami and his […]

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.