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Tag: Virginia Mason

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 5 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. As Masaaki […]

By December 8, 2014 4 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 In Japan, during our recent tour, I saw […]

By December 3, 2014 0 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 13 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 […]

Updated: Why Toyota is Eliminating the Andon Cord from its Factories

Updated: Why Toyota is Eliminating the Andon Cord from its Factories

If you clicked on my intentionally attention grabbing headline (or what might be a parody of those)… no, Toyota isn’t killing their famed and much-copied Andon process. Toyota is just changing the mechanics of the Andon system – or perhaps improving it… in the spirit of Kaizen, or continuous improvement. If you’d like more background on Andon […]

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, […]

Podcast #204 – Paul Plsek, Lean & Innovation at Virginia Mason

Podcast #204 – Paul Plsek, Lean & Innovation at Virginia Mason

MP3 File (run time 34:37) Joining me today for Episode #204 is Paul Plsek (@PaulPlsek) and we’re talking about his excellent book (a Shingo Research Award recipient this year) titled Accelerating Health Care Transformation with Lean and Innovation: The Virginia Mason Experience. Virginia Mason, of course, is Virginia Mason Medical Center, the outstanding Lean organization […]

Podcast #202 – Patrick Graupp, TWI in Healthcare

Podcast #202 – Patrick Graupp, TWI in Healthcare

MP3 File (run time 34:56) My guest today for Episode 202 is Patrick Graupp, co-author of the excellent book Getting to Standard Work in Health Care: Using TWI to Create a Foundation for Quality Care, co-authored with Martha Purrier from Virginia Mason Medical Center. If you’re brand new to the Training Within Industry (TWI) model, […]

Article about Lean in Two Sioux Falls Health Systems

Article about Lean in Two Sioux Falls Health Systems

I recently saw an article about Avera Medical Group and Sanford Clinic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota: “Health systems learn to be lean.” Avera McKennan Hospital, in Sioux Falls, was featured in the 2nd edition of my book Lean Hospitals.  A physician describes how, with Lean, they are spending MORE time with each patient AND get to […]

Toyota’s Blog on Pillars of the Toyota Production System & Lean

Toyota’s Blog on Pillars of the Toyota Production System & Lean

I didn’t know , until yesterday, that Toyota has an official company blog (at least for Toyota UK). Even though I’ve learned from Toyota people and many books and classes (and I’ve written books of my own), I always encourage people to get Toyota Production System knowledge directly from the source whenever possible – including […]

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 […]

“It’s Gotten Political” in Saskatchewan Lean Healthcare. Of Course.

“It’s Gotten Political” in Saskatchewan Lean Healthcare. Of Course.

After some supporters of the Saskatchewan Lean healthcare efforts reached out to me, I’ve been trying to follow everything that’s being said and written – which is hard to do (just try a Google news search). There are many facets to this story, some of which are discussed well by John Shook and Bill Waddell in […]

Fantastic Mixed Media Online Presentation about Lean in Healthcare

Fantastic Mixed Media Online Presentation about Lean in Healthcare

I recently stumbled across a very interesting and well-produced mixed-media presentation that starts with the sounds of snow crackling under a pair a boots… a video clip that illustrates Delvecchio Finley, the CEO of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, making a snowy trip to ThedaCare, in Appleton, Wisconsin to learn about Lean and healthcare improvement. Check out the […]

By January 8, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
SF General Adopts Lean, Faces a Big Test with a “Never Event”

SF General Adopts Lean, Faces a Big Test with a “Never Event”

They just started a year ago (better late than never?), but San Francisco General Hospital had its Lean efforts highlighted in the San Francisco Chronicle last week: “S.F. General following ‘Toyota Way’ to efficiency.” On the very same day, another headline flew past about a patient who had wandered off and gotten lost in the […]

By October 14, 2013 0 Comments Read More →
Brilliant 1981 Article: “Why Japanese factories work” – Relevant for Healthcare in 2013

Brilliant 1981 Article: “Why Japanese factories work” – Relevant for Healthcare in 2013

The year is 1981. A Major League Baseball strike interrupts the season. We’re in the midst of the Cold War. President Reagan is shot. Kim Carnes’ (not to be confused with ThedaCare’s Kim Barnas) tops the charts for the year with “Bette Davis Eyes.” And, Toyota has zero manufacturing presence in the United States… yet. […]

By September 3, 2013 6 Comments Read More →
Dr. Gary Kaplan’s Introduction to “The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen”

Dr. Gary Kaplan’s Introduction to “The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen”

It’s been just over five years since the first edition of my book  Lean Hospitals was released and just over a year since  Healthcare Kaizen was released. Joe Swartz and I are happy to say that  The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen should be available in the next week or so (via in paperback via […]

By August 23, 2013 1 Comments Read More →