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Lean and MD’s, Defining "Value"


DailyKaizen » What the patient is willing to pay for

How about this for a circular (almost) network of blogs? I'm linking to a post on the excellent “Daily Kaizen” lean healthcare blog, which was referencing a post on the “Lean Six Sigma Academy” blog, which was recounting a story from the “Got Boondoggle?” blog.

It's not quite fair to call Daily Kaizen a “healthcare” blog. Please check it out, even if you're in manufacturing or a different industry. Lots of transferable stuff there.

I'll point you to Daily Kaizen for the question they raise about “value” and what the customer (patient) is willing to pay for. The blog poster (a physician) put out an idea that he could help clean a patient's room if the patient said they valued that.

I'm torn on that one. It might support teamwork, but it's also a waste of a very valuable resource, the MD. We don't ask value-adding assembly line workers to go get their own parts, a material handler does that. Maybe the MD shouldn't clean a room, we have housekeeping for that. We can still have teamwork, if everyone supports the role the others play, right?

I left a longer comment on the Daily Kaizen blog, you can read it there if you want.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent book is the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus. He is currently writing his next book, tentatively titled Measures of Success.

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