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The President of Johns Hopkins Believes In Lean

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Johns Hopkins Gazette | June 9, 2008

From the online newsletter of William R. Brody, president of The Johns Hopkins University. He writes:

First, a disclaimer: I don't own any stock in Toyota and am not going to get any discount on future purchases, even after writing this article.

On the other hand, I have been a shameless promoter of the automaker's manufacturing process, called Toyota Production System, which has become a widely copied (but rarely matched) method of continuously improving service. We have been using these methods very successfully at The Johns Hopkins Hospital to reduce medical errors and improve quality.

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It's great when influential leaders see, understand, and value the power of Lean. That can only help further the spread of this powerful management system.

Johns Hopkins is the origin of Dr. Peter Pronovost's work on “checklists” — the Lean concept of “standardized work” basically, in another name. It's not rocket science — it's Lean process design and having a commitment to making sure a standard process is actually followed consistently.

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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 an anthology titled 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.

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