By October 27, 2010 1 Comments Read More →

KCOE North American Operational Excellence Summit 2010, Healthcare Topics

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Last week, I was a keynote speaker at an event put on by the Kennametal Center for Operational Excellence, their annual North American Operational Excellence Summit, an event attended by lean manufacturing leaders and lean healthcare leaders from Pennsylvania and beyond.

It was an honor to be there as a lean healthcare speaker and panelist, but more importantly, I enjoyed the networking and the learning from attendees and other speakers.

It’s an event I would recommend to you for the future and I hope to get back to attend. I’ll share some notes and thoughts below these links about the summit and their 2.5 minute video summary:

Evening with Mark Graban | Photos from 2010 KCOE Pre-Summit Dinner

2010 KCOE North American Operational Excellence Summit



My notes and thoughts from the event:

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I was very happy to meet David Adams (at right in the photo), the Executive Director of the KCOE, and Allan Edwards (at left), the star of the “Beer Kaizen” parody video that I’ve featured before.

I was able to learn about their non-profit efforts to share lean as part of an Operational Excellence framework for companies in the area.

There were a few healthcare presenters, including Doug Dascenzo from Excela Health who shared, along with their KCOE intern Michael Senuta, some of their lean practices around daily meetings and problem solving.

In the structured daily meetings, they focus on their true north of Safety, Quality, Productivity, Human Development, and Cost. Through the meetings, they aim to quickly elevate problems that cannot be solved at the front line.

They are, through their year-long practice of having these meetings, trying to see “problems as a blessing” as they occur, encouraging staff members to take initiative where they can, otherwise providing servant leadership to help where it’s needed.

Two of the ground rules for the approach are “mutual trust and respect” along with “focusing on processes” (instead of blaming people).

Part of the new lean mindset at Excela is bringing functional areas together to break down silos, leading to more systemic improvements than you might find in other settings.

I also saw an outstanding presentation from Barbara Jennion, the Director of the “Perfecting Patient Care” initiative  from the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative. She spoke about change management strategies that can help lead to their goal of “the delivery of the right care that is safe and efficient every time.”

Thanks again to David, Allan, and the rest of the KCOE team for the invitation and for a fine experience.


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Now Available – The updated, expanded, and revised 3rd Edition of Mark Graban’s Shingo Research Award-Winning Book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement. You can buy the book today, including signed copies from the author.


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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 eBook 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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