Stuff I’m Reading: August 15, 2012


Picking up a feature I was doing a few months back, the backlog of stuff I've read and wanted to blog about has grown… that inventory becomes this post. Here are links to some varied articles I've read recently that might be of interest on a number of Lean related topics:

6,000 die a year due to poor patient checks  (The Telegraph)  – in the UK health system… big opportunities for standardization, “The public will be shocked to learn that the NHS has been operating such an ad hoc system of monitoring deterioration in a patient's condition – with different approaches in each hospital.”

Why are 30 day readmissions not going down? (John Toussaint's blog) – “Hospitals get paid to readmit patients not to keep them out of the hospital. Even though penalties are about to be applied by Medicare for readmissions the penalties do not outweigh the benefit for hospitals.”

One Doc's Prescription For Hassle-Free Healthcare (NPR) – my friend Jay Parkinson, MD is again trying to revamp primary and emergency care through high-touch and online channels. “He says he and his colleagues at the New York City-based healthcare start-up Sherpaa can solve 70 percent of patients' problems via email, eliminating a trip to the doctor's office.” But is this model scalable to other cities? Or just big cities?

Lean the ED Way (The Acute Care Continuum) – “The Lean mindset refers to an underlying focus on continuous improvement and problem-solving. The great news is that the method of problem solving is similar to what you  already use during a standard patient evaluation.”

Do You Believe Doctors Are Systems, My Friends? (The Health Care Blog) – A doctor is a bit of a contrarian on applying business practices and standardization to healthcare, saying “I worry that a lot of medicine really isn't quite as reducible, as standardizable, as many of the advocates and management gurus would like to believe.”

Long wait at the doctor's office? Blame the patients (CNN) –  I don't think you should blame the patients. It's a chicken and egg problem… maybe patients are late because they've learn the doctor is likely be running late? Either way, it's better to own the system (and improve it) than it is to blame your customers (the patients). It *is* possible to run an office that is generally on time

Do you have any  comments on any of the articles? Share them below…


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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published 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.

1 Comment
  1. I like the article on blame patients for the long lines. I worked in an urgent care clinic and we would book just in case people did not show up.

    The article is right it is hard to know who to blame.

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