By November 16, 2010 0 Comments Read More →

Tampa Bay Business Journal Features Lean at Moffitt Cancer Center

The full article requires a subscription, but John Toussaint and I were each quoted in this article from last Friday: “Toyota techniques drive profit, efficiency gains at Moffitt.”

As with many of these articles, the full story tells a picture of quality improvement and patient benefit, but the headline focuses just on cost and efficiency. I guess that’s natural for a business publication where readers might naturally zero in on words like profit, cost, and efficiency over quality.

I can’t share the full article here, but I’ll quote some of the data shared by the  H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute.

From a financial standpoint, they moved from a loss of $21.5 million in in FY 2009 to a profit of $19.6 million in FY 2010. About $5.3 million of the financial improvement was attributed to Lean and process improvement, although it’s often difficult to know for sure.

Some other improvement data (with the caveat that I wish we got more than just simple before-and-after comparisons, as I blogged about here).

  • On-time starts for the first surgery of the day improved from 13% of the time to 73% of the time
  • Patient waiting time for blood draws was cut in half
  • Patient satisfaction for chemotherapy “jumped 27 percent” (I assume it increased by 27 points…)

The article has comments from their P.I. lead who emphasizes that improvements (such as scheduling process  improvements) come from the front-line staff.

One comment from that lead:


Because staff members  now feel like they own the process, they are constantly looking at areas that could be improved, and there are  more projects than Mason’s seven-person department can handle, said Kolosky, who oversees the initiative.

Because staff members now feel like they own the process, they are constantly looking at areas that could be improved, and there aremore projects than Mason’s seven-person department can handle, said Kolosky, who oversees the initiative.

This is why hospitals (and other organizations) can’t completely rely on the “lean department” to drive and manage all improvement. A Lean department can play a critical role in teaching and coaching and even leading some major projects, but you have to get everybody involved with Lean and kaizen (such as front-line staff and front-line managers).

My quote from the article:

Leadership participation is one key to ensuring Lean is effective, said Mark Graban, senior fellow at the Lean  Enterprise Institute, a nonprofit in Cambridge, Mass. Lean also requires a more collaborative management  style, and managers who are comfortable with a top-down culture might find it challenging, he said.

Thanks to the Tampa Bay Business Journal for featuring the Lean work at Moffitt (which started  initially  with consultants from GE, as the article mentions).

Boston Business Journal also featured lean healthcare last week, for those of you who subscribe.


Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please scroll down to post a comment. Click here to receive posts via email.


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.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Please consider leaving a comment or sharing this post via social media.

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.

Post a Comment

CommentLuv badge