A New App to Download, Events to Attend, and a Book to Read


Today's post is a few Friday odds and ends about a new thing I've been involved, events I'm attending, and a new book I'm anxious to read (after I'm done reading a favorite old one).

LEI iPhone App

We're jokingly calling this the LEiPhone app for short (and we'll stop if threatened with legal action!). One small project I've been involved in at LEI is setting up a free iPhone app that you can download to access your favorite LEI info and content in one place.

You can see a web preview of the app here and download it from the iTunes Store, or you can search the store for “lean” or “lean enterprise.” We are still fleshing out the content and going through a bit of an early PDCA cycle, but you're welcome to try the app! Again, it's completely free.

In this app, you can flip through LEI's publications, view upcoming workshop dates, view LEI YouTube videos, listen to archived LEI webinar audio, and much more. You can see the latest LEI news and blog posts and the latest tweets by and about LEI. You can view a slideshow of screen shots here.

On this same platform, an App with this same content will be available on the new Android platform and there is rumored to be a BlackBerry version in the future. I'd guess that most of the Lean crowd would be BlackBerry users (I switched from that to iPhone last May). Would you mind taking this short survey, using the Lean Blog readers as a proxy for the LEI community?

[polldaddy poll=”2722803″]

Share your comments and feedback about the app here, please.


Thanks to the Healthcare Financial Management Association for hosting my webinar on Thursday. If you are an HFMA member, the archive will be available online.

In the coming weeks, I'll be attending the following events if you have a chance to meet up:

  • LEI Lean Transformation Summit, in Orlando on March 3 and 4. I'm not presenting, just participating and attending sessions (my first time attending). We are tweeting about the Summit using the tag #LEI10 if you want to play along.

Hope to see you at one of these events.


I was excited to see that a new book had auto-downloaded (thanks to my pre-order) to my Kindle by the time I woke up this morning. Talk about on-time delivery for a Feb 18 book release. The new book is Safe Patients, Smart Hospitals: How One Doctor's Checklist Can Help Us Change Health Care from the Inside Out by Dr. Peter Pronovost.

Unlike the WSJ's treatment of Dr. Atul Gawande's latest, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, the Journal gave Pronovost's tome a positive review – mainly because it was written by Laura Landro, the healthcare writer, not a lawyer.

Pronovost covers, apparently, many of the same themes as Gawande — that simple, structured checklists (like the Lean concept of Standardized Work) along with basic teamwork can make a huge difference in the operating room or the hospital.

Dr. Pronovost proposes a two-fold strategy for bringing health care closer to the standards of aviation: simple, rigorous checklists designed to deliver proven treatments and procedures; and a cultural makeover aimed at tearing down the traditional hospital hierarchy that makes nurses afraid to challenge doctors even when doctors are ordering the wrong drug or operating on the wrong limb. Hospitals need a collaborative model, Dr. Pronovost says. Members of a medical team need to work like flight crews to redesign flawed systems of care.

It's great to see further documentation of how basic process focus can literally save lives. As Gawande wrote about, checklists are NOT intended to turn people into un-thinking robots (just as Toyota teaches). Checklists should be written by those who do the work, not the bosses (just as Toyota's Taiichi Ohno said).  Checklists and standardized work should be continuously improved. Checklists help prevent “stupid mistakes” that all humans are capable of.

I hope these books will cause those who scream “standardized work doesn't work for services” to pause and re-think their extreme and indefensible position. Standardized work is saving lives. That's pretty well proven now. Who could question that? Are these methods always easy to implement? No. Do some managers mis-use them to reinforce their outdated command-and-control management system? Sure. But don't throw out the good practice with the bad application. Educate them about what they could be doing better.

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Check out my latest book, The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation:

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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.


  1. Mark, I think the discussion of avoiding the week long RIE unless necessary is an important presentation. We’ve spoken of the 6/3 before and continue to use that very successfully as our main means of multidisciplinary improvement work. It remains true to Lean principles while being respectful of busy clinician’s time. We just finished one addressing ‘bed bundles’ assuring all components of monitoring, oxygen, bed frames, etc. are routinely available postoperatively for safe and efficient patient transport. Never seeing any resistance to participating is the strongest endorsement. Keep up the great work. David


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