Interesting news from Idaho, where an outside Lean consultant has been named interim CEO of St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center (see “Consultant to fill in as T.F. hospital CEO“).
From the article:
Mike Reno, a consultant helping St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center adopt the “Lean” production system used by Toyota Motor Corp., will head the Twin Falls hospital over the next year as it searches for a new CEO.
Is this a first in American healthcare, an outside Lean guy taking over a hospital?
I know of (and have written about) one Industrial Engineer who is a hospital CEO, but Michael Riordan is a career healthcare person).
Reno is a consultant with RWD Technologies, a firm that has moved into healthcare, like many others. Here is a presentation from Reno that I found online, referencing St. Luke’s Magic Valley. From his bio, Reno also appears to have quite a history as a hospital administrator, as indicated in his LinkedIn profile.
It would have really surprised me to see someone with a “Lean Manufacturing” background be put into that role, even if they had been, say, the CEO of an auto parts supplier. Reno seems to have followed the path of a hospital administrator who got turned onto Lean and then became a consultant for a period of time (with RWD).
From the news story:
According to a bio provided by St. Luke’s, Reno started his career in health care in 1997 as a medical sergeant with special operations in the U.S. Army. He served as vice president of the Texas hospital from 2004 to 2008 and then as vice president of operations at Main Line Health System in Philadelphia, Pa., before joining RWD.
The health system CEO (overseeing the hospital) said that, of course, their Lean efforts will continue, adding it’s being done:
…with the goal of making hospital procedures more efficient and standardized.
I wish the system CEO had also been quoted talking about quality and patient safety. Standardization is not an end — it’s a means. When standardization improves quality (such as reducing V.A.P. rates or reducing surgical errors), that’s a good thing. Standardization alone might be a hammer looking for a nail.
Efficiency and quality go hand in hand with Lean, in healthcare or otherwise, so I cringe a bit when I hear Lean being described as just an efficiency approach or only a productivity improvement plan.
The RWD presentation that I linked to above gives some results from their Lean work at different hospitals, including quality and safety related measures:
- ST elevation myocardial infraction (STEMI) at 100 percent compliance for door to balloon (D2B)
- This means patients are waiting as long for chest pain treatment
Eliminated decubitus ulcers (bed sores)
Falls reduced by 50 percent
Those improvements are in addition to measures around cost, patient access/flow, and staff morale.
I added the hospital to my Lean healthcare map at www.leanmaps.com. Feel free to edit the map and add healthcare sites that you know are implementing Lean.
About LeanBlog.org: Mark Graban is a consultant, author, and speaker in the “lean healthcare” methodology. Mark is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. Mark is also the VP of Customer Success for the technology company KaiNexus. He lives in San Antonio, Texas.