Tag: Aviation

When Warnings Aren’t Given or Heeded, People Die: Planes, Ice Cream & Hospitals

When Warnings Aren’t Given or Heeded, People Die: Planes, Ice Cream & Hospitals

In healthcare, it’s a well-known problem that people often don’t speak up to point out risks or to report near misses. It’s an organizational culture problem… people are afraid of being blamed, punished, or retaliated against for speaking up. A 2012 “report released…  by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human […]

By August 12, 2015 5 Comments Read More →
Visual Management for an International Flight, a Hospital, or a Dentist

Visual Management for an International Flight, a Hospital, or a Dentist

My wife and I are getting ready to leave tomorrow night for a two week vacation, so it jogged my memory about this story I saw back in December in the WSJ: Airlines Try to Make Coach Classier.  Anything that makes long flights more bearable is good news to me. One detail that caught my attention […]

Podcast #215 – John Ervin, Lean & Patient Safety in the Operating Room

Podcast #215 – John Ervin, Lean & Patient Safety in the Operating Room

MP3 File (run time 46:37) Today’s guest is my friend John Ervin and we were able to sit down together here in San Antonio to record this episode. John has about 20 years of healthcare leadership experience, including military medicine and the civilian sector. He’s been a manager and director of operating rooms in many types […]

By February 12, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Throwback Thursday: GM Got Gamed & The Original Intent of Their Standup Meeting

Throwback Thursday: GM Got Gamed & The Original Intent of Their Standup Meeting

Continuing the “Throwback Thursday” theme for the 10th anniversary of my blog, today’s post looks back at and builds upon one of my favorites from 2007. The post is a “GM War Story” from 1995 when I was just starting my career: “GM Got Gamed (Or, How to Fudge Your Production Numbers)” There was a […]

By January 15, 2015 1 Comments Read More →
Podcast #195 – Steve Montague, Lean + TeamSTEPPS for Patient Safety

Podcast #195 – Steve Montague, Lean + TeamSTEPPS for Patient Safety

Please upgrade your browser MP3 File (run time 38:47) Joining me for episode #195 is my friend Steve Montague from LifeWings. Steve and I met initially through our shared interest in Lean and, like Ron Pereira, we discovered we both lived in Keller, Texas (I’ve since moved to San Antonio). Steve is a retired Navy […]

Two Recent Wrong-Site Landings & Many Wrong-Side Surgeries

Two Recent Wrong-Site Landings & Many Wrong-Side Surgeries

In healthcare patient safety circles, there’s always a lot of discussion about lessons learned from aviation safety. Aviation has gotten much safer over the past few decades, while each new study done in healthcare indicates the patient safety problem is not getting better (or is getting worse… or is being measured better). I realize that […]

By January 15, 2014 5 Comments Read More →
LinkedIn Article: How Can We Increase Cross Training to Better Serve Customers?

LinkedIn Article: How Can We Increase Cross Training to Better Serve Customers?

Here is an article I posted yesterday to LinkedIn: An Airline Worker’s Lament: “They Won’t Let Me Help You.“ On LinkedIn, I’m writing for a more general business audience than I am here on LeanBlog.org. In the situation at the ticket counter, it seemed like a situation where a worker wanted to help the customers (the […]

By January 7, 2014 3 Comments Read More →
What I’m Reading 12/30/13: GM’s CEO, Human Error, Costing, and Really Deep Sleepers

What I’m Reading 12/30/13: GM’s CEO, Human Error, Costing, and Really Deep Sleepers

To close out the year 2013, I once again need to close some browser tabs that are full of things that I was maybe going to write about, but don’t merit a full post. So, the latest in my occasional “What I’m Reading” series: New York State Hospital Data Exposes Big Markups, and Odd Bargains […]

By December 30, 2013 0 Comments Read More →
LinkedIn Post: American Airlines Cannot or Will Not Serve Their Customers?

LinkedIn Post: American Airlines Cannot or Will Not Serve Their Customers?

I wrote a post for the LinkedIn Influencers series: American Airlines Should Own Their Situation, Not Just Blame the Weather Looking at this problem (long phone hold times), it seems to be a simple mismatch between demand (the number of phone calls coming in) and supply (the number of employees working and the amount of […]

By December 7, 2013 1 Comments Read More →
Learning Not to Blame: “Jerk Bartender”

Learning Not to Blame: “Jerk Bartender”

In the Lean methodology, building upon the teachings of Dr. W. Edwards Deming, we work hard to shift away from “naming, blaming, and shaming.” Dr. John Toussaint is one of many who provide alternatives to the “blame and shame” approach that’s, sadly, so common in healthcare. When I teach about focusing more on fixing systems […]

By November 21, 2013 4 Comments Read More →
Parallels and Learning Between Aircraft Engine MRO and Human Healthcare

Parallels and Learning Between Aircraft Engine MRO and Human Healthcare

My wife is a leader in a business (not GE) that does aircraft engine “MRO” work – maintenance, repair, and overhaul. I’ve been able to visit her shop floor (her “gemba”) and we noticed similar parallels between their work (bring engines back to prime “health”) and what’s done in healthcare. This parallel was also explored […]

What I’m Reading 8/29/13: Forcing Happiness, Saving $$ By Not Using Your Health Insurance, and More

What I’m Reading 8/29/13: Forcing Happiness, Saving $$ By Not Using Your Health Insurance, and More

As we move into the Labor Day weekend, I need to close some browser tabs that are full of things that I was maybe going to write about, but don’t merit a full post. So, the latest in my “What I’m Reading” series: “How to Disarm a Nasty Co-Worker: Use a Smile“ (WSJ):  I think […]

By August 29, 2013 1 Comments Read More →
If Indian Restaurants Can Be Transparent, Why Not Hospitals?

If Indian Restaurants Can Be Transparent, Why Not Hospitals?

I was happy to see that one of my local Indian restaurants not only has very good Yelp reviews… they also have a top score (a perfect score!) from the health inspector. This is proudly displayed (as it should be) near the register. Click on the image for a larger view. Why don’t we see […]

Blame the Worker or the System – British Airways Engine Covers

Blame the Worker or the System – British Airways Engine Covers

I flew back safely from Finland on Saturday – or I should say British Airways and American Airlines flew me safety, including in the 747 pictured at left. 15 hours across three flights. It was a long day. But, I wasn’t really worried about my safety because of the great track record that the aviation […]

Iterating or Improving vs. Doing It Right the First Time

Iterating or Improving vs. Doing It Right the First Time

I’ve added to a new post to my LinkedIn Influencers series: “The Ability to Iterate is Not an Excuse to Do It Badly the First Time.” It’s about the new American Airlines digital airport signage that’s being rolled out across airports — signage that I think is a big step backward in readability…. but they […]

Follow Up: American Airlines Actually Error Proofed This!

Follow Up: American Airlines Actually Error Proofed This!

You might recall my post from from July 2012 (“I Wish American Airlines Would Error Proof This on Their Website“) where I pointed out how easy it was for an American Airlines customer to accidentally cancel the wrong flight (an error I had made once). The “cancel” links were too close together and the “confirmation […]

By January 23, 2013 5 Comments Read More →
Getting to the Root Cause on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy

Getting to the Root Cause on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy

Last week, my wife was watching ABC’s show “Grey’s Anatomy,” as she always does. Again, as she often does, she’ll pause it for me when there’s a scene related to patient safety, so I can watch. In this scene, below, “McDreamy” (Patrick Dempsey) and his colleagues are talking to lawyers about a plane crash that […]

By November 3, 2012 3 Comments Read More →
A Test for Executive Candidates – It’s Time to Power Off and Stow…

A Test for Executive Candidates – It’s Time to Power Off and Stow…

A few years ago, there was a lot of buzz about how a board should evaluate a potential job candidate by seeing how they treat waiters and other “lowly” employees in a restaurant (see “CEOs say how you treat a waiter can predict a lot about character“). The idea came from a CEO who used […]

By November 1, 2012 6 Comments Read More →