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Tag: Quality

Why “More Nurses” Isn’t the Best Way to Solve What Ails Healthcare

Why “More Nurses” Isn’t the Best Way to Solve What Ails Healthcare

There are certainly many serious problems in healthcare. Let’s look at nursing, in particular. It’s a rewarding job, but it’s far more frustrating for nurses than it needs to be. Nurses often don’t have enough time in the day (or in a given hour) to do all of their work the right way in the […]

3 Ways to React to Human Error

3 Ways to React to Human Error

What happens when a mistake is made in your organization? How do you react when an error occurs? A lab specimen gets mislabeled. The wrong product is shipped to the wrong customer. A patient is injected with the wrong medication. These are moments that matter. Does emotion take over or do we stay calm? How […]

Weird Al’s Hilarious “Mission Statement” Song & Video Mocks Corporate Buzzwords

Weird Al’s Hilarious “Mission Statement” Song & Video Mocks Corporate Buzzwords

“Weird Al” Yanokvic skewers corporate buzzwords in this new song and music video. He also skewers the now-tired “hand writing on a white board” style of corporate videos, which I think is even more brilliant of him. There are a few somewhat Lean-related buzzwords in the video… the last one looks like it has PDSA […]

Report to President Obama Endorses Lean & Systems Engineering in Healthcare

Report to President Obama Endorses Lean & Systems Engineering in Healthcare

I recently saw a tweet that referenced a May 2014 that was sent to President Obama and his administration: “Report to the President – Better HealthCare and Lower Costs: Accelerating Improvement Through Systems Engineering.” The report was written by the “President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology,” or PCAST, and a working group that includes professors, […]

Live Blogging Day 1: Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit 2014

Live Blogging Day 1: Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit 2014

Today is the first day of the 5th annual Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit. Follow along on Twitter with hashtag #HCSummit14 to see my tweets and thoughts from others. I will be adding updates to this post during the day, as well. These are not meant to be complete notes or a transcript… but quotable and interesting thoughts or comments […]

Debate about Lean at SF General Hospital – Hire a Consultant or More RNs?

Debate about Lean at SF General Hospital – Hire a Consultant or More RNs?

Happy June, everybody! Summer is here. We’ve actually had a delightfully long spring here in San Antonio, which means the temperature hasn’t really been above 90 yet, which counts as cool (and comfortable for us). I’m headed off to Los Angeles tomorrow for the 5th annual Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit. Let me know if you’ll […]

The Real #VAscandal is the Long Waiting Times & Bad Management, Not Gaming by Bad Apples

The Real #VAscandal is the Long Waiting Times & Bad Management, Not Gaming by Bad Apples

Look at the System, Not the Individuals I’ve been wanting to blog about the “VA Scandal,” but have avoided it because it is somewhat politicized (as tends to happen), the allegations and story are moving quickly, and the whole thing just makes me sad, so I stop writing. Building on Monday’s post… when the news first […]

Run Fast if You Ever Hear This Phrase from a “Lean Six Sigma” Instructor

Run Fast if You Ever Hear This Phrase from a “Lean Six Sigma” Instructor

I sometimes torture myself by watching webinars given about “Lean Sigma.” I hear a lot of claptrap about Lean… things that are just demonstrably wrong. These aren’t differences of opinion. These are statements that are factually incorrect and can be proven as such. If you ever hear somebody say some variation of this phrase: “Lean […]

My Skepticism about GM’s “Speak Up for Safety” Program

My Skepticism about GM’s “Speak Up for Safety” Program

I have a new article posted on LinkedIn: “My New Program: Speak Up About “Speak Up for Safety” at GM.” GM seems to continue their “blame the employees” game, as they’ve suspended two engineers (in my mind, blaming individuals for systemic cultural problems). CEO Mary Barra says that some executives may be punished, but starting […]

The Day I Thought I’d Get Fired from “The Old GM” – Putting Quality over Quantity

The Day I Thought I’d Get Fired from “The Old GM” – Putting Quality over Quantity

Following up on yesterday’s post that talked about “the old GM” putting cost ahead of quality, I sometimes I get flashbacks to my days working for General Motors. I’ve been in healthcare for 8.5 years now, but at the start of my career, I was an entry-level industrial engineer at the GM Powertrain Livonia Engine plant […]

Are Today’s Hospitals Too Much Like “The Old GM?”

Are Today’s Hospitals Too Much Like “The Old GM?”

As a former GM employee and a GM customer, I’m really fascinated by the reaction of the public, the media, and Congress to the recalls and scandal over ignition switch problems in some GM small cars from recent years. The defect or design flaw is believed to have caused between 13 and 300 deaths (depending […]

Good Questions, But With Some Misunderstandings about Lean Healthcare

Good Questions, But With Some Misunderstandings about Lean Healthcare

In 2009, I wrote about a nurses’ union in New Brunswick that supported Lean because they realized this methodology could help reduce waiting times and improve working conditions. It’s win/win. Yet, as part of the recent politicized Lean healthcare brew-ha-ha in Saskatchewan (read more here), the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) has been critical of the provinces’ […]

More on Lean in Saskatchewan

More on Lean in Saskatchewan

Since the healthcare improvement work I do is apolitical and non-partisan, I’m generally not one to butt into the political affairs of Canada or other countries. But, when I hear complaints about Lean or when it’s being called a “scam” and a “cult” by some in Saskatchewan (read here), my ears perked up and I […]

Guest Post: Book Chapter on VIBCO and “Captain Karl”

Guest Post: Book Chapter on VIBCO and “Captain Karl”

Mark’s note: Today’s guest post is an excerpt from the book Remarkable by Toby LaVigne. Toby’s bio can be found at the bottom of this post. In this chapter from the book, Toby writes about a good friend of mine and of this blog – Karl Wadensten, the President of VIBCO. You can watch or listen […]

By December 16, 2013 0 Comments Read More →
Detect Instead Of Inspect

Detect Instead Of Inspect

Mark’s Note: I’m away on vacation through November 6… there will be some guest posts in this post during that time. Today’s post is by Brian Buck, a long-time friend of this blog and a frequent contributor of some very funny Lean Memes! Check out his blog, Improve with Me. By Brian Buck: Before I […]

By October 30, 2013 4 Comments Read More →
ThedaCare Featured by TIME as a “Real Face of Healthcare Reform”

ThedaCare Featured by TIME as a “Real Face of Healthcare Reform”

It was great to see this TIME story (which I think is only available online), by Rick Wartzman of the Drucker Institute: “The Real Face of Healthcare Reform.” Wartzman cites ThedaCare as an organization that is successfully reforming itself AND trying to participate in broader national reform efforts – including transparency and payment reform. Results […]

By October 10, 2013 0 Comments Read More →
Too Many Patients Harmed, Too Few Leaders Committed to Real Change?

Too Many Patients Harmed, Too Few Leaders Committed to Real Change?

I recently received two emails that are worth sharing, in anonymous form here. One was from somebody I know who just quit a Lean role at a major academic medical center after a few years there, as he’s looking to join an organization that has a “deeper commitment to profound change” (spoken like a reader […]

Don’t Let Looking at Data Blind You From Seeing Reality

Don’t Let Looking at Data Blind You From Seeing Reality

I recently read an article (a case study) about “Lean Six Sigma” in a publication. It’s not online, so I can’t link to it, nor do I really want to call them out by name. I didn’t like the article, in part, because it used the old, tired (and wrong) idea that “Six Sigma is […]

By September 10, 2013 18 Comments Read More →