Guest Post: What’s Under Your Road to Improvement?


Mark's note: Today's guest post is by Dr. Mark Jaben, an emergency medicine physician who has also been working with KaiNexus.  

If you drive along Highway 19 near Fayetteville, West Virginia, you're likely to drive across the bridge traversing the New River Gorge. Before its construction, getting from one side to the other required either a twisty drive down to the river and back up, or a long detour around this huge gash in the earth.


If you blink too long or stay on your cell phone, you could very easily miss what is believed to be one of the oldest rivers in the world and one of the deepest gorges east of the Mississippi.

But if you stop to float the river and run its rapids, you get a very different view. You see cars, trucks and buses crossing this bridge silently way above. And you see the immense iron infrastructure that is not visible to those on the road, but is really what enables the road to handle its load, making it so much easier than it used to be to cross the divide.


Just like the cars, trucks and buses crossing the New River to get from one side to the other, there are many great opportunities for improvement in any organization and many methodologies that form the road to get those opportunities across the divide from idea to palatable and workable process and results.

Maybe the obstacle to achieving improvement is not your ideas. Maybe the pace of your improvement is slower than you'd like, but not because of your improvement methodology. Have you looked under your road lately? Maybe it needs a bit more support.

Dr. Mark Jaben currently resides in North Carolina, where he is a board certified emergency physician with over 25 years in community practice.  After more than 20 years at one institution, he has spent the past 5 years doing locums work at more than a dozen hospitals, from small rural to large volume urban facilities, which has afforded him the great opportunity to experience both the unique challenges as well as common issues shared by health care institutions in the US and around the world.


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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.

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