Tag: Virginia Mason

This Time, the NEJM Publishes Something Positive About #Lean

This Time, the NEJM Publishes Something Positive About #Lean

You might remember the hubbub (a kerfuffle?) over the NEJM opinion piece written by Dr. Jerome Groopman and Dr. Pamela Hartzband. See my first post about their article. There are more links at the bottom of this post Now, the “Perspective” section of the New England Journal of Medicine has published a piece titled “The Hard […]

By September 1, 2016 1 Comments Read More →
What’s Up at Virginia Mason Medical Center? Top Rankings & Joint Commission Problems

What’s Up at Virginia Mason Medical Center? Top Rankings & Joint Commission Problems

I want to preface this post by saying it’s mostly about questions, not answers. I’ve had many readers and acquaintances ask me about what’s been going on at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. The short answer is: “I don’t know, other than anything I’ve read in the news.” read more

What Virginia Mason’s CEO Dr. Gary Kaplan Warns Against With #Lean

What Virginia Mason’s CEO Dr. Gary Kaplan Warns Against With #Lean

Dr. Gary Kaplan is the CEO of Seattle’s Virginia Mason Medical Center, considered one of the world leaders in the adoption of Lean healthcare principles. He wrote the foreword for my book The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He co-authored a recent editorial in the BMJ Quality & Safety journal: read more

How Failed Lean Implementations Are Like a Bad Home Theater System

How Failed Lean Implementations Are Like a Bad Home Theater System

Alternate title: “Lean is an Integrated System. Of Course Just Implementing Pieces Leads to Failure.” Throughout the 10 years that I’ve been involved with Lean healthcare efforts, I’ve heard multiple stories of organizations that ended their formal Lean initiatives. They do so, as I’ve been told, because they need to cut costs…

By February 1, 2016 4 Comments Read More →
The Shared Interests & Goals of Lean and the Patient Safety Movement

The Shared Interests & Goals of Lean and the Patient Safety Movement

Later today and tomorrow, I’ll be attending the annual World Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit that’s produced by a non-profit called the Patient Safety Movement. If you’re also at the event, please say hi! Follow the event on the hashtag #0X2020. I attended last year and wrote a post titled “Politicians and Patient Safety: […]

By January 22, 2016 0 Comments Read More →
Key Points About Kaizen from Japanese Hospitals, Going Back in December

Key Points About Kaizen from Japanese Hospitals, Going Back in December

I’ve gone to Japan twice now with Kaizen Institute to study Lean with healthcare professionals from around the world. I first went in 2012, as a paid attendee, and I went back in 2014 as a partner and co-facilitator to teach and lead discussions during the trip. Both trips were fantastic experiences, and I’ve not only seen Japan […]

Reader Question from an MD: One Shot to Talk to the Hospital CEO About #Lean

Reader Question from an MD: One Shot to Talk to the Hospital CEO About #Lean

Before I head out on vacation, here is a reader question that I am sharing for your input.I’m sharing this with permission and I’m obscuring a few details at their request. Please read and leave a comment below the post. My approval of comments might be a bit slow after Tuesday evening as I start […]

Throwback Thursday: Be Lean, not L.A.M.E.

Throwback Thursday: Be Lean, not L.A.M.E.

Today’s post is a throwback to an essay that I originally wrote for the excellent book Lean-Led Hospital Design: Creating the Efficient Hospital of the Future, where it appears in an appendix with some other contributed essays. You can listen to my podcast with the authors, Charles Hagood and Naida Grunden. read more

Podcast #221 – @JacobStoller, “The #Lean CEO”

Podcast #221 – @JacobStoller, “The #Lean CEO”

My guest for episode #221 is Jacob Stoller, author of a book that was just released: The Lean CEO: Leading the Way to World-Class Excellence. It’s available now through Amazon or you can learn more through his book’s website. As Jacob explains, he’s a journalist, not a Lean practitioner, and he interviewed CEOs across different industries to […]

Lean Factories and Lean Hospitals Are Safer and They’re Better Listeners

Lean Factories and Lean Hospitals Are Safer and They’re Better Listeners

When we introduce the idea of Lean to healthcare organizations, it’s very common for somebody (often a senior physician) to say something like, “But we don’t want assembly line medicine.” The implication is that assembly lines and factories are cold, rigid, uncaring places that focus on ruthless efficiency and making the numbers at the expense […]

Looking back at the Toyota Tsutsumi plant tour, part 2

Looking back at the Toyota Tsutsumi plant tour, part 2

Last week, I wrote a post (part 1) looking back  at our visit to the Toyota Tsutsumi factory that was part of our Japan tour that took place two months ago now. See previous posts in this series. I’m going to try to do one post a week on this topic. If you’re in San Francisco, I’m giving […]

By January 27, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Lessons from the  Football Coaching and Leadership Styles of the Oregon Ducks and Ohio State Buckeyes

Lessons from the Football Coaching and Leadership Styles of the Oregon Ducks and Ohio State Buckeyes

Note: Today is the fifth anniversary of the Haiti earthquake. Russell Maroni’s journal from his volunteer work there, including some Lean concepts he employed, is still available. You can download a free PDF and I hope you’ll consider making a charitable contribution. Now on to today’s somewhat trivial, by comparison, topic. Tonight is the inaugural […]

By January 12, 2015 1 Comments Read More →
A Hotel, Time Quotas, Systemic Problems, and Employees Not Having the Right Tools

A Hotel, Time Quotas, Systemic Problems, and Employees Not Having the Right Tools

I travel a lot and, thanks to my work, I’m pretty well attuned to the idea of not blaming individuals for systemic problems in an organization. Or, at least I try to be good about this. I’m human, so I slip up sometimes… like the time I wrongly blamed a bartender for a bad attitude, […]

By December 9, 2014 7 Comments Read More →
Good Ideas, Lean Ideas, Keep Crossing the Pacific

Good Ideas, Lean Ideas, Keep Crossing the Pacific

The ideas, principles, and methods that we’d recognize as “Lean” aren’t exclusively of Japanese origin. Many of us, myself included, draw inspiration from Toyota, reading books about them and visiting their factories. For me, I’ve had a chance to visit Toyota plants in Japan, California, and Texas, and the story is very consistent. read more

By December 8, 2014 6 Comments Read More →
Words vs. Simple Visuals; A Secret About Japanese Hospitals

Words vs. Simple Visuals; A Secret About Japanese Hospitals

This tweet and photo made me chuckle the other day… If it’s “your right” or “your left” as you’re going up or down the stairs, collisions are going to happen if everybody followed these instructions: No, it won't. pic.twitter.com/2iJ3POnrDB — Nille af Ekenstam (@nilrod) November 27, 2014 read more

By December 3, 2014 2 Comments Read More →
#Ebola – The Glaring Gap Between Staff Education and Proper, Effective Training

#Ebola – The Glaring Gap Between Staff Education and Proper, Effective Training

I saw this headline the other day: “U.S. Soldiers Get Just Four Hours of Ebola Training” The phrase “just four hours” implies that it wasn’t enough. How do we know? Maybe four hours of training, done properly, is all that’s needed. It might also be four hours MORE than the amount of training given to […]

By October 18, 2014 14 Comments Read More →
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 […]

What They’re Saying Now about Lean Healthcare in Saskatchewan

What They’re Saying Now about Lean Healthcare in Saskatchewan

There have been plenty of headlines and updates since I first blogged about the controversy over Lean healthcare in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan (see my previous posts here). From my outside perspective, there are some good things happening. I admire their adoption of a “patient safety alert system” and a blame-free culture (see Saskatoon […]