Gemba Academy Visits Franciscan St. Francis Health to Learn #Lean & #Kaizen

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 6.13.35 AMOur friends at Gemba Academy produce some really nice online Lean education materials. It’s a subscription service, but you can see some free videos on YouTube.

As part of their “Gemba Live” series, host Ron Pereira visited Franciscan St. Francis Health in Indianapolis. That’s the hospital, of course, of my Healthcare Kaizen co-author Joe Swartz.

There is a whole series of videos, over two hours of content, that features leaders and staff from departments such as the NICU, endoscopy, pharmacy, and the emergency department.

In the free preview video, Ron and Joe chat a bit about how they got started with Lean and continuous improvement. Joe says, in part that early projects were mostly Six Sigma and they were looking for somebody with Lean expertise, so he joined them as a consultant. They did some “nice project work in 2005” and, after he was hired as an employee in 2006, they were “pretty heavy into Six Sigma” and…

“Pretty quickly, I determined we [the P.I. team] can’t do it all. We have 4,000 employees and we were doing maybe 10 to 15 projects a year and we could include about 200 people per year. It was going to make many years before we impacted everybody. So, we really needed a program that engaged all employees. So, in 2007, we introduced the Kaizen program.”

Check out the first video here:

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If you’re a Gemba Academy subscriber, I hope you enjoy the series. Or, I hope you and your organization would consider subscribing. It’s a great value, considering the membership allows EVERYBODY at your site to view the different training modules at their own speed and their own convenience.

If you’re NOT a subscriber, they invite you to sign up for their free trial program and to leave a comment in the sign up box requesting access to the Franciscan videos.

There’s a great video on “Advice for those beginning the Lean journey,” where you see Julie (who appeared in this video that I produced for the blog here). She says “Don’t think [an improvement] has to be really big to make a difference. It can be something very simple that will help a patient or a nurse. Look at [improvement] as simple things,” such as reducing the need to walk down the hall to get supplies and “that can be a Kaizen.”

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You can also see some other free videos that Joe and I produced for LeanBlog.org:

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The best way to improve is by solving lots of problems… and the best way to do that is to engage as many people as possible!


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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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