Tag: Quality

Where Do Hospitals Get the Idea that Lean is Only About Cost Reduction?

Where Do Hospitals Get the Idea that Lean is Only About Cost Reduction?

It’s very frustrating when I hear people in healthcare complain that their hospital or health system has equated Lean with cost savings — only focusing on cost reduction or primarily focusing on it…

By January 12, 2016 15 Comments Read More →
Podcast #238 – Kevin Cahill, on his Grandfather, W. Edwards Deming

Podcast #238 – Kevin Cahill, on his Grandfather, W. Edwards Deming

Episode #238 is a conversation with somebody I’ve wanted to talk with for a long time, Kevin Cahill. He is the executive director of the W. Edwards Deming Institute. He’s also a grandson of Dr. Deming! …

By January 11, 2016 2 Comments Read More →
Simple Mixups & How Blaming Workers Doesn’t Explain or Prevent Them

Simple Mixups & How Blaming Workers Doesn’t Explain or Prevent Them

When we see a simple error, even in something as silly as sports memorabilia, we would ask “why?” or “how?” instead of “who?” Blaming individuals doesn’t help…

By January 4, 2016 3 Comments Read More →
Famed NBC Video with Dr. Deming from 1980 Now Available: “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We?”

Famed NBC Video with Dr. Deming from 1980 Now Available: “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We?”

The W. Edwards Deming Institute and Dr. Deming’s grandson Kevin Cahill worked with NBC to make the 1980 program available, giving the institute perpetual rights to it (see their blog post). To the institute’s credit, they’ve made this freely available on YouTube.

By November 22, 2015 10 Comments Read More →
The First Ever Instance of “Lean Doesn’t Apply to Us?”

The First Ever Instance of “Lean Doesn’t Apply to Us?”

Lean is, of course, not about a better way to build cars. It’s a transferrable philosophy, management system, and methodology that is being applied in many different settings and industries, including healthcare. I’m often told (sometimes by somebody who is being sort of huffy): “Patients are not cars.” […]

By November 11, 2015 3 Comments Read More →
It’s Not #Lean to Have Dysfunctional Efficiency Targets

It’s Not #Lean to Have Dysfunctional Efficiency Targets

Lean healthcare really is a global movement. Last year, when I went to Japan, we had people in the group from all across Asia, Denmark, Canada, the U.S., and Saudi Arabia. Health systems all around the world need to improve quality and patient safety, reduce waste and create better work environments, reduce waiting times, and […]

By November 10, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Throwback Thursday: Why Do We Need to Ask Patients to be Vigilant?

Throwback Thursday: Why Do We Need to Ask Patients to be Vigilant?

Here’s a “Throwback Thursday” post from this date back in 2008. The post is titled, “Why Do Hospitals Have to Rely on Vigilant Patients and Families?” I think it’s still an important and relevant post, here in 2015. Why do we ask patients and families to be vigilant and inspect the work being done…

By November 5, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Captain Jack’s Cannonball Polish – Buy One, Get Two Free!

Captain Jack’s Cannonball Polish – Buy One, Get Two Free!

Mark’s note: Today’s post is by Paul Critchley and he raises important questions that I’ve seen in both factories and hospitals. Here’s his post… As I’ve moved through my career and Lean journey, I’ve been blessed to have met and worked with some really fantastic people…

By September 30, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Throwback Thursday: This Hospital CEO Was Never Going to Get Lean

Throwback Thursday: This Hospital CEO Was Never Going to Get Lean

It’s tempting to visit a place like ThedaCare and then mandate “everybody must have huddle boards.” Then, a bunch of huddle boards get purchased and installed… and maybe not used. It’s another thing for executives to realize that they have to change the way they manage. There’s a great quote that ThedaCare folks readily share, including Kim Barnas in her book Beyond Heroes:

By September 24, 2015 2 Comments Read More →
Podcast #229 – John Dyer, Reflections on Deming, Six Sigma, and More

Podcast #229 – John Dyer, Reflections on Deming, Six Sigma, and More

My guest for episode #229 is John Dyer, president of his consulting firm, JD&A, Inc., and a contributor for IndustryWeek.com. John started his career at General Electric and later moved to Ingersoll-Rand, where he was VP of Operations for their Security and Safety sector. John had the good fortune to learn directly from W. Edwards […]

By September 8, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Throwback Thursday: Inc. Writes About Dr. Deming in 1987

Throwback Thursday: Inc. Writes About Dr. Deming in 1987

I stumbled across an article from the Inc. magazine archives from 1987, so it’s today’s “Throwback Thursday.” In 1987, I was starting high school and that was probably right about the time when my dad, an engineer for General Motors, was able to attend one of Deming’s famed four-day seminars. Hearing about that was my […]

By August 27, 2015 1 Comments Read More →
I Wish I Could Say I Intentionally Made This Mistake to Illustrate a Point

I Wish I Could Say I Intentionally Made This Mistake to Illustrate a Point

As I mentioned on Monday, I’m working on a 3rd revised edition of my book Lean Hospitals. Traditional book publishing is a funny (and sometimes frustrating) value stream, in a lot of ways. There are many batches and many queues along the way… one of the reasons it takes so long to transform a Word .DOC manuscript […]

By August 26, 2015 3 Comments Read More →
Using Lean to Organize Hospital Closets… NPR Commenters Are Not Impressed

Using Lean to Organize Hospital Closets… NPR Commenters Are Not Impressed

I saw this story when it originally appeared online as part of a local public radio station in California. It was now picked up nationally by NPR and a number of you emailed me about this Lean healthcare piece about UCLA Medical Center: Hospitals Turn To Toyota To Make Care Safer And Swifter It’s a generally […]

By August 10, 2015 8 Comments Read More →
Parody Video: Keith Olber-Lean and the “Worst Persons in the Lean World.”

Parody Video: Keith Olber-Lean and the “Worst Persons in the Lean World.”

In this post, I’ll be presenting a parody video of Keith Olbermann‘s “worst persons in the sports world” videos. I don’t know how much overlap there is in people who read my blog and people who are fans of Olbermann. I’ve always been a big fan of Olbermann the sports guy… Olbermann the political commentator […]

See How a British Psychiatrist is Using LEGO Videos to Explain Lean Healthcare

See How a British Psychiatrist is Using LEGO Videos to Explain Lean Healthcare

A collection of creative videos was recently brought to my attention and I’d like to share them here. They are created by Dr. Mark Harrison (@leanpsychiatry), a psychiatrist for an NHS Trust. He created the videos by taking photos of LEGO creations and adding voiceover. It’s amazing that we all have the technology required to […]

“How do you deliver quality and value to market quickly?” – Steve Spear at MIT

“How do you deliver quality and value to market quickly?” – Steve Spear at MIT

When I was back at MIT earlier this month, I really enjoyed the lectures that I was able to attend. See my notes from Professor Zeynep Ton’s talk on “The Good Jobs Strategy.” I’ve heard Professor Steven Spear (not “Spears,” as commonly misspelled) speak a number of times. I love his book The High-Velocity Edge and […]

U.S. Hospitals Have the Best E.R. Care for Kids, But Aren’t Prepared For Them?

U.S. Hospitals Have the Best E.R. Care for Kids, But Aren’t Prepared For Them?

There’s been a back and forth of views about the state of pediatric emergency medicine recently in the Wall St Journal. Let me start first, actually, with the more recent statement, a rebuttal from Michael Gerardi M.D., FACEP, President of the American College of Emergency Physicians, in the form of a letter to the editor. read more

Dr. Atul Gawande’s Article on Reducing the Waste of Unnecessary Healthcare

Dr. Atul Gawande’s Article on Reducing the Waste of Unnecessary Healthcare

I’ve been a big fan of Dr. Atul Gawande’s writing for a long time (see previous posts about him and his work). His latest article is out, which I was able to read last night. It just came out (or I first heard of it yesterday). Overkill: An avalanche of unnecessary medical care is harming patients […]