Announcement: Working on a 2nd Revised, New Edition of “Lean Hospitals”


Happy New Year! Today, I will have two posts that are embarrassingly self referential. Then back to normal stuff tomorrow.

My main announcement is that I'm happy to say that I am working on a revised edition of my Shingo Award winning book, Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Satisfaction. Those of you who grew up in the 1980's might appreciate the musical reference shown in the picture to left :-)  That's not the new cover of the book.

Unlike a blog, it's hard to practice “continuous improvement” with a book. There were a few small edits made with each successive printing of the book. But here is my chance to make more significant improvements, as opposed to just having defects fixed.

I appreciate the feedback that I've gotten from my readers since the book was released in August 2008.

On the positive side, I've heard a lot of feedback that the book is a helpful introduction and that many hospitals have used the book to help senior leaders understand that Lean is not just a set of tools to be delegated to front-line staff. The greatest Lean success comes from when senior leaders start adopting the Lean mindset to actively drive culture change and the creation of a Lean management system. I'm glad the book has helped in that regard, as that was certainly one of my goals and core messages I tried to get across. You can now also find great published examples of those types of leaders including the folks at ThedaCare (see On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry)  and Virginia Mason (Transforming Health Care: Virginia Mason Medical Center's Pursuit of the Perfect Patient Experience)

The way publishing cycles go, I wrote the book in late 2007. A lot has happened in the last three years. More hospitals are using strategy deployment and other more advanced management practices. The formal adoption of A3 problem solving and planning is more wide spread than three years ago. These, and some other topics, are things that I didn't cover, or didn't cover well, in Lean Hospitals. There are also new or updated case studies and other “state of the art” Lean practices and results to report on. I'll also try, where possible, to include some more current context about healthcare reform (although that runs the risk of being immediately out of date).

I've gotten feedback that international readers wish there were more examples from outside of North America and I think I can make that happen (and my book is also currently being translated into languages including Turkish, Chinese, Thai, and Polish. The focus of the book will remain primarily on hospitals, although some of the ideas translated well to outpatient settings and other locations.

If you have read Lean Hospitals, I would certainly appreciate your feedback and ideas. You can email me at mark (at) leanhospitalsbook (dot) com or you can leave a comment here on this post.

  • What topics weren't in the first edition that I should be sure to cover in the second edition?
  • Were there sections that were unclear or confusing?
  • Were there topics that weren't necessarily helpful for an introductory text?
  • What other suggestions do you have?
  • Do you have case examples that you might want to have featured in the second edition?

It's not a perfect book, so I want to make it better… I'm all ears… then all fingers as I type and work on this.

According to the official Productivity Press page, the new edition should be available in October.

Check back this afternoon for a post about some other plans and updates I have for the new year.

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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. Thanks for asking. Translations are currently in the works for:

    ·                 Polish
    ·                 Complex Chinese
    ·                 Thai
    ·                 Turkish
    ·                 Simplified Chinese

    I really don’t have any control over that. We would have to find a publisher in Brazil who is willing to work with Productivity Press on that.


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