Tag: Aviation

#TBT: Talking to a Friend of Captain “Sully” About Patient Safety

#TBT: Talking to a Friend of Captain “Sully” About Patient Safety

OK, it’s Tuesday… “Throwback Tuesday.” I’ll make that a thing.

Somebody I really appreciated getting to know, before her retirement from healthcare improvement work, was Naida Grunden. She wrote or co-authored two fantastic Lean healthcare books:

By September 13, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
The Need for Standardized Work When Ordering Whiskey

The Need for Standardized Work When Ordering Whiskey

Ah, whiskey. I like whiskey. I’m not afraid to say that. I’ve blogged about whiskey (or whisky) once before: Why Kaizen is an Important Differentiator for Japanese Whisky. I also have a personal Kaizen story that I need to write about...

Podcast #246 – Steve Montague, #Lean, Checklists & #PatientSafety

Podcast #246 – Steve Montague, #Lean, Checklists & #PatientSafety

Episode #246 is my second episode in recognition of Patient Safety Awareness Week.

My guest is Steve Montague, who talked about Lean and Crew Resource Management with me in episode #195 in 2014. He’s a retired Navy fighter pilot, a commercial pilot, and a consultant for hospitals and health systems… and a fellow Texan and a near-neighbor of mine. See his full bio here.

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.

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

Helpful Visuals 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.

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 of hospital and surgical center settings.

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:

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

MP3 File (run time 38:47)

montagueJoining 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 pilot and currently flies for a major commercial airline. He’s also been involved, through LifeWings, in the movement to bring aviation safety practices (and culture) to healthcare via “Crew Resource Management” or “TeamSTEPPS.” He’s also been on the forefront of combining Lean and TeamSTEPPS, something we both agree is a great idea.

In honor of National Patient Safety Awareness Week, we talk about topics including:

  • Steve’
Two Recent Wrong-Site Landings & Many Wrong-Side Surgeries

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

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 6.14.40 AMIn 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 some people in healthcare get just as annoyed hearing about planes and cockpits as they do hearing about Lean manufacturing and factories. We take it for granted now that aviation is safe. There are many annoying things about flying and baggage might get lost… but you’re very unlikely to die in a plane accident, even flying 120,000 miles a year, like I do.

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?

tagsHere 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 passengers), but wasn’t allowed to. She said she wanted to help but said “They [management] won’t let me help you. It’s not my job. They only give us this one little job and we can just tag bags.”

I don’t blame the woman for staying within her job boundaries. But, there’s such waste that comes from not cross-training people to their full ability (and full interest).

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

Reading...

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 (NY Times): The state of New York has made data available that shows the gap between what it “costs” a hospital to provide care and the price that’s actually charged to the payer (and the inconsistencies across the state). I’m not so certain most hospitals have cost accounting methods that really create an accurate view of what the cost (direct cost and overhead) of a certain procedure is for a particular patient. This is hard to do (allocating overhead). I think transparency can only help, but hospitals lamely argue that releasing such data only “confuses” people.

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 time it takes to handle each call).

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

Learning Not to Blame: “Jerk Bartender”

blame

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 and processes (instead of blaming individuals), I talk about workplace scenarios where things go wrong. As Deming taught (and I believe strongly, from my own experience), roughly 94% of problems are caused by the system.

I often say that it’s human nature to try to blame others. It’s easier to lecture and say “don’t blame” than it is to practice this in our daily lives. I’m not perfect, but I try.

By November 21, 2013 6 Comments Read More →
Parallels and Learning Between Aircraft Engine MRO and Human Healthcare

Parallels and Learning Between Aircraft Engine MRO and Human Healthcare

Screen Shot 2013-10-06 at 6.59.55 PMMy 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 in this recent article from GE Healthcare that was published by The Guardian in England: “What lessons can healthcare learn from industry?

There are interesting and sometimes humorous parallels between engine MRO and human healthcare:

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

books in a stack (a stack of books)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 when we have “nasty” or “venting” co-workers or employees, we should work hard to understand the system. We should ask “why are nurses frustrated?” rather than just telling the nurses to not complain about doctors or problems. Staff engagement is really important and I think we should create a workplace that people can enjoy being a part of. But, I agree with a quote in the story, “It is your job as a manager to get at truth and excellence, not to make people happy.” We can’t force people to be nice, but maybe we can create conditions where they are less stressed and more likely to be nice. Look at the system issues.

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?

IMG_4166I 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 similar summaries and information posted in hospital lobbies? What were the most recent deficiencies from the latest accreditation visit from the Joint Commission or another body? The more I think about it, why don’t airlines post similar information about maintenance and other public safety issues?

Blame the Worker or the System – British Airways Engine Covers

Blame the Worker or the System – British Airways Engine Covers

IMG_4050I 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 industry has demonstrated (and taught to industries like healthcare).

That said, mistakes still happen. We’re all human. But, what does an industry do and how do they react when a mistake is made? Recent events with a British Airways flight are telling.

Iterating or Improving vs. Doing It Right the First Time

Iterating or Improving vs. Doing It Right the First Time

American Signage 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 look pretty.