Some Highlights from the 2019 #Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit

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Last week was the 10th annual Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit. I've had the opportunity to take part in all ten of them, going back to my days as an employee of the Lean Enterprise Institute, who used to partner with Catalysis on the event. The Summit is now fully run by Catalysis.

This year was the third year in which I facilitated my “Measures of Success” workshop and that went really well. Speaking of the topic of “Process Behavior Charts” and metrics, I'm running a sale through the end of June where you can buy signed copies of my book for $24 including U.S. shipping.

Back to the Summit… unfortunately, this was the first year I had to leave the Summit due to client obligations. I missed out on the Thursday evening networking and Friday's speakers, but I did enjoy the time I was there.

Lean Coffee / Open Space

For the second straight year, I helped organize and facilitate a “Lean Coffee” session. We had about 30 people who self organized into five groups to brainstorm topics and have discussions in the Lean Coffee format.

Stop Reacting to Noise!

I also really enjoyed the breakout session that was run by Dr. Dan Low, from Seattle Children's Hospital and MDMetrix. Dr. Low made a strong case for the use of control charts (Process Behavior Charts) as a way to better evaluate whether changes are really improvements.

He cited Walter Shewhart and recommended my book, both of which I appreciated.

He talked about the need to distinguish signal from noise and to stop chasing noise — in other words, stop reacting to or explaining routine variation in a metric.

“I'm going teach you more in four slides than 80% of people in healthcare understand about variation,” he said.

We can't fault people for what they haven't been taught. I hope these concepts are making a comeback in healthcare.

Here's one example he shared that shows a clear downward shift, evidenced by eight consecutive data points below the baseline average:

Summary Posts

Maggie Millard and two other colleagues from KaiNexus were there. Maggie wrote three excellent blog posts that summarized a keynote talk by Dr. John Toussaint and two breakout sessions from Cleveland Clinic.


Real-Time Lessons Learned from John Toussaint at the Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit


Tiered Daily Huddles at Cleveland Clinic


Problem Solving at Cleveland Clinic


Check out her posts, as she did a great job with those.

Hope to see you in Salt Lake City for the 11th annual summit in 2020.

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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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