My Guest Article on Lean as an Alternative to Hospital Layoffs


Thanks to for publishing my guest article on the front page of their site: “How lean management helped hospitals avoid layoffs.

The article features quotes from two of our Healthcare Value Network organizations, ThedaCare and Akron Children's Hospital, and two other outstanding hospitals, Denver Health and Avera McKennan.

You can read the full article on their site.

An excerpt:

Despite the common allegation that  lean improvement methods, based on the Toyota production system, must lead to layoffs at hospitals or health systems, the reality is quite different at several leading hospitals where lean methods are actually saving or creating jobs.

Traditionally, without or before the adoption of lean, healthcare organizations relied on  layoffs and service reductions to reduce costs and attempt to balance budgets. Lean provides an alternative, where a strengthened commitment to the workforce is repaid with continuous quality improvement, better patient care, and better financial performance for the organization

Read more:  How lean management helped hospitals avoid layoffs – FierceHealthcare

How lean management helped hospitals avoid layoffs

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  1. Mark Graban says

    Dr. John Toussaint adds some comments on his blog:

  2. Jim Handyside says

    Thanks Mark, this is an important elephant in the room. I’m working close to the neonatal icu gemba and I find people at the front line are very keen to rid the system of waste. Because waste is not what they signed up for. I made a little word video that speaks to this… and the front line is “up for it”. Just need the leaders to realize this and invest in it; the cutting is rampant and destructive.

    1. Mark Graban says

      Thanks for sharing the video, that’s very cool.

  3. […] are often wise to have some variation on a “no layoffs due to Lean” policy, as I’ve written about before. Many healthcare organizations, including ThedaCare, have made this  commitment  quite publicly. […]

  4. […] all execs think I’m there to “cut heads.” That’s certainly not what I do (see my article on the “no layoffs due to Lean” policies). Nurses and front-line staff might also be afraid I’d be there to cut […]

  5. […] the contrary, I’m a big believer in the “no layoffs due to Lean” policy and I’m always the one teaching methods that hospital staffers can use to […]

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