“Applying the Principles of ‘The Toyota Way’ to Healthcare: A Conversation with Dr. Jeffrey Liker – LeanBlog Podcast #4”


Here is LeanBlog Podcast #4, again featuring Dr. Jeffrey Liker, Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan. Dr. Liker is very well known in the lean world and is a leader in studying Toyota's own practices and management approaches. More information about Dr. Liker and his books can be found in the show notes, below. The first part of his podcast can be found here.

For earlier episodes, visit the main Podcast page, which includes information on how to subscribe via RSS or via Apple Podcasts.

MP3 File

LeanBlog Podcast #4 Show Notes and Approximate Timeline

  • 1:28 Dr. Liker's comments on lean healthcare at the University of Michigan and their 5-day certificate program
  • 2:03 Dr. Liker visited Toyota's own hospital last year and they are just starting to implement lean and the “Toyota Way” at “Toyota Memorial Hospital
  • 2:53 “Hospitals are often a complete mess, lack of organization.”
  • 3:50 “A lot of a hospital is just a huge material flow system… and it's done really badly.”
  • 5:08 Can also look at patient “value streams”
  • 5:15 Can eliminate 80-90% of the waste (waiting) from a patient perspective
  • 5:48 How the American Heart Association used the Toyota Product Development System
  • 6:28 Why doctors are afraid that “standardized work” might stifle their actual work, “it's really about becoming a learning organization”
  • 7:48 How healthcare professionals can be open to principles (lean principles) rather than being told what to do
  • 9:33 Why Toyota has “mechanized the routine tasks” — to free people up for problem solving
  • 10:48 Workarounds and problem solving in healthcare
  • 13:03 How simple, visual tools helped
  • 13:28 What kind of consulting or advising does Dr. Liker do for those who might want to contact him? Keynote speeches, conferences, leadership workshops and vision setting. His firm, Optiprise, does more detailed consulting work.
  • 15:29 The Toyota Product Development System (with Jim Morgan) is a new book that came out a few months back. Currently working on a new book with David Meier (co-author of the Toyota Way Fieldbook), called Toyota Talent, about how Toyota develops their people. It is part of what will be a series of books. The book will come out next year.

If you have feedback on the podcast, or any questions for me or my guests, you can email me at leanpodcast@gmail.com or you can call and leave a voicemail by calling the “Lean Line” at (817) 993-0630 or contact me via Skype id “mgraban”. Please give your location and your first name. Any comments (email or voicemail) might be used in follow ups to the podcast.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.



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