By September 16, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

New KaiNexus Education Videos – #9: Identify, Report, and Solve Small, Local Problems

About two years ago, we produced some short two- to three-minute education videos about Lean, Kaizen, and continuous improvement for KaiNexus. These were intended as short coaching sessions that would be sent to our customers / users and we’ve also shared them publicly.

Dr. Greg Jacobson and I re-shot these videos recently with a professional videographer. The changes with the videos:

  • Greg is now in half of the videos
  • The scripts were changed to be less healthcare specific, as we’ve added customers in other industries
  • The video quality is much better

I previously did blog posts with the first eight videos. Those posts are still there, but they have the new versions of the videos. Click here to see all of the videos through my blog or here to view them on the KaiNexus website.

Here is video #9 in the series:

Identify, report, and solve small, local problems

We hope you find the videos to be helpful and inspiring. Please let us know what you think by commenting here or on one of the videos.

You can also see our Education Videos playlist on YouTube, or you can also get the videos via iTunes as a video podcast.

Approximate Transcript:

Hi, I’m Mark Graban, from KaiNexus, where we make improvement happen…

Practicing continuous improvement every day is about finding the small problems that interfere with our work or what our customers need. Lots of times, we might face a really small problem, something that interrupts us or delays our work for just a minute… and then we go on with our day.  We might think it’s just not a big deal… it’s just normal.

But if that problem is a recurring problem… the type of fire that we’re always fighting, then fixing that problem helps us many times over… every day in the future multiplied by all of our co-workers who face that same problem.

One real OI that was entered into KaiNexus involved ordering foot x-rays. Patients were sometimes getting a two view x-ray instead of a three-view.  In a world before KaiNexus, after getting the two-view x-ray results, the physician would likely just order the third view and then go on with their day… but this causes delays for the patients and extra work for radiology.

Another example happened at one of our semiconductor customers.  An seemingly simply OI recommend that they change order in which fields were inputted for their online invoices.  This simple change led to a much more accurate invoice and saved them countless hours of re-work.

With KaiNexus, it’s important to ask what we can do to improve the process so we prevent problems… in this case making sure the third view was being ordered correctly, or the invoice was inputted properly… getting them right the first time.  ..  A lot of times, things like this aren’t even viewed as a problem.

When a problem like this is entered into KaiNexus, even when you don’t know the root cause or the solution, it increases visibility to the problem and people can work together to fix it… In these cases, technology wasn’t the problem.  both the x-ray’s and the invoices were sometimes entered wrong due to inconsistent orientation for new staff members… and that can be improved, ensuring correct orders in the future.

In situations like this the discussion often uncovers additional problems and root causes that can be addressed based off that initial problem.. improvement leads to more improvement. Instead of just “dealing with” issues, people are using KaiNexus to address root causes and prevent future problems.


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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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