Group Health Cooperative’s Model Line


DailyKaizen » Where the coffee is free – The Model Line Revealed

Here is a preview of the “Model Line” area that Lee Fried, Dr. Ted Eytan, and James Hereford will be discussing in an upcoming LeanBlog Podcast.

The Group Health Cooperative is an organization that provides insurance AND treatment, which provides some interesting “extended value stream” opportunities. Their model line area is in a claims processing function with 700 employees. From their examples, you can tell they are really trying to use Lean in a significant operational manner, not just as a superficial exercise.

They are using hoshin planning and A3 reports, as well as a heijunka box to help manage and monitor workflow.

There are mother A3's and baby A3's on one wall. Lee shows me the current state and the future state. One wall is about successes. Another is about the competition, the voice of the customer, and “on the horizon.”

I am then walked over to claims processing, where there is a heijunka box on display. Lee asks me, “Ted, can you tell me if anyone is behind.” I can. I can tell that most of the team is not behind, and that some are at lunch, at a glance.

As their headline suggests…. and the coffee is free! I assume this is more important to folks in Seattle than in other locations?

I should be able to get the Podcast out in a week or two, stay tuned for updates.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional 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 a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. His latest book has been released as an "in-progress" book, titled Measures of Success.

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