Podcast #367 — Rachel Mandel, MD MHA, on Lean for Physicians and Health Systems


Joining me for Episode #367 of the podcast is Dr. Rachel Mandel, a self-described “healthcare whisperer” and Washington D.C.-based consultant for healthcare organizations. She has her own practice and also works as a Senior Healthcare Advisor for Operational Performance Solutions, Inc.

She is, of course, a physician (OB-GYN) and previously served as the Vice President of Medical Affairs for a health system in Maryland. Read her full bio here.

We recorded this podcast in late February 2020, so much has changed since then. We'll be doing a follow up podcast next week where we'll discuss some of the leadership (and organizational) challenges that health systems face now during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Today, we'll talk about her experiences with Lean and how she is an advocate for this methodology, especially around the important issues of safety and quality.

Streaming Player:

For a link to this episode, refer people to www.leanblog.org/367.

For earlier episodes of my podcast, visit the main Podcast page, which includes information on how to subscribe via RSS, through Android appsor via Apple Podcasts.  You can also subscribe and listen via Stitcher or Spotify.

Questions, Topics, Quotes, and Links:

  • Rachel's LinkedIn page
  • Operational Performance Solutions
  • How did you get introduced to Lean?
  • Benefits for physicians and the organization?
  • Waste that she's dealt with in the OR (workarounds)
  • Lean and Patient Safety (IHI talk)
  • How to engage physicians — not cost, but “process improvement”
  • Learning from manufacturing
  • Ways to prevent or recover from MD burnout
  • Being an insider vs being an outsider consultant
  • MD rounding culture vs. leadership rounding

Thanks for listening!


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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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