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KaiNexus Blog

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Mark Graban

Mark Graban is a Senior Advisor at KaiNexus. Mark graduated from Northwestern University in 1995 with a BS in Industrial Engineering and later earned an MS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is author of two Shingo Research Award-winning books, and has worked as a consultant to healthcare organizations throughout North America and Europe, teaching and implementing kaizen and other Lean management practices. He was previously a Senior Fellow with the Lean Enterprise Institute and the Healthcare Value Network and continues as an LEI faculty member. Mark is also the founder of the popular LeanBlog.org and its podcast series.
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Recent Posts

Christian Care Ministry: Customer Month Spotlight!

Posted by Mark Graban

Jun 1, 2021 1:17:12 PM

Today, we bring you the third and final guest in our mini-series of Customer Month Spotlights here on the KaiNexus Continuous Improvement Podcast with our host, Mark Graban. We'll do more of these interviews in the future—let's make every month "customer month".

Our guest for this episode is Eric Mellert, Manager of the Process Improvement Team at Christian Care Ministry.

In 1993, a formalized approach to sharing healthcare burdens began with the Medi-Share program. From small beginnings, this big idea took root. More than 25 years later, the Medi-Share program serves more than 400,000 members, and more than $2.6 billion dollars in medical bills have been shared and discounted.

In this post, you'll find:

  • Streaming audio podcast player
  • Topics and questions list
  • Video player
  • Full transcript

Listen here:

Subscribe to our podcast to hear additional customer interviews and more!

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UMass Memorial Health: Customer Month Spotlight!

Posted by Mark Graban

May 28, 2021 3:03:00 PM

Today, we have another guest on the KaiNexus Continuous Improvement Podcast with our host, Mark Graban.

Our guest is Cliona Archambeault, the Director of Process Improvement at one of our customers, UMass Memorial Health.

In this post, you'll find:

  • Streaming audio podcast player
  • Topics and questions list
  • Video player
  • Full transcript

Listen here:

Subscribe to our podcast to hear additional customer interviews and more!

Read More

Memorial Health System: Customer Month Spotlight!

Posted by Mark Graban

May 25, 2021 1:02:01 PM

Today, we have guests on the KaiNexus Continuous Improvement Podcast with our host, Mark Graban.

Our guests are both part of the Process Excellence department at Memorial Health System in Marietta, Ohio, one of our customers.

Lynn Howell and Mary Huck, both of whom have clinical backgrounds, help their colleagues improve with Lean and other methods throughout the system.

In this post, you'll find:

  • Streaming audio podcast player
  • Topics and questions list
  • Video player
  • Full transcript

Listen here:

Subscribe to our podcast to hear additional customer interviews and more!

Read More

The Power of Small Ideas in Improving Vaccinations

Posted by Mark Graban

May 11, 2021 4:44:22 PM

With all of the work going on to set up and run Covid-19 vaccination centers around the world, the principles of Lean process design are really helpful. But, as hard as we might try, no process is ever perfect, so having a culture of continuous improvement from the get-go is incredibly important.

Many times, when you ask an employee to share an improvement idea, they might say, “I can’t think of anything.” I’ve heard that in different organizations -- have you? Have you heard that at a vaccination site you might be working with?

When people say, “I don’t have any ideas,” they often mean, “I can’t think of a million-dollar idea.” They assume (incorrectly) that a manager (or an outside consultant) only asks for big ideas with a substantial financial impact when we start a conversation about problems, ideas, or improvements. 

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Evidence that Lean CLEAR-ly Works in Healthcare

Posted by Mark Graban

Mar 30, 2021 2:14:00 PM

Dr. John Toussaint has long been one of the world's leading practitioners and advocates in the world of Lean healthcare, so it's always great to see what he has to say and share. 

John recently shared an email newsletter that also included this video message:

 

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Topics: Lean Healthcare

Sharing Covid Vaccination Process Improvements - VacciNexus!

Posted by Mark Graban

Feb 12, 2021 10:59:28 AM

For the entire team at KaiNexus, the phrase "spread continuous improvement" is a driving mission statement. It's not just a business objective, it's something that we think can change the world. We truly believe that.

Our customers spread continuous improvement throughout their organizations. Often, this is person to person, team to team, department to department, and site to site. Our KaiNexus software supports them in this effort.

When we hear about big challenges in the world, such as the need to quickly and efficiently vaccinate as many people as possible against the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 illness, we know that people are doing great work to solve problems and to be more effective. 

But how are they spreading continuous improvement across organizations, across states, and across countries?

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Remembering and Honoring Norman Bodek

Posted by Mark Graban

Dec 22, 2020 10:00:00 AM

I join many in the Lean community in mourning the recent passing of a publisher, author, educator, and life-long learner, Norman Bodek. He was 88. You can read his obituary here

I was fortunate to get a lot of time with Norman over the past 15 years, as I documented in my LeanBlog.org post. I learned a lot from Norman, and I will forever appreciate his enthusiasm and support over the years.

We should all be so fortunate as to be as sharp and energetic as Norman was, working on what he loved to do up until the very end. Norman had accomplished so much, yet he didn't rest on his laurels or reputation. He was driven to discover new people and to bring ideas about self-improvement that came from Japanese leaders outside the domains of Lean, Kaizen, or the Toyota Production System.

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10+ Lean Blogs That You Should Be Reading

Posted by Mark Graban

Jun 26, 2020 9:47:24 AM

For a topic with so many authors, students, practitioners, and leaders, it’s probably no surprise that there are a ton of blogs about Lean - Lean manufacturing, Lean enterprise, Lean thinking, etc. This list includes some bloggers I’ve been reading for the longest time, those who are the most active, and those whose insights are really valuable (and sometimes, people fall into all three categories). It’s hard to list just ten, but I have a longer “blogroll” list and a separate list of Lean healthcare blogs that I maintain on my site.

Note: This blog post was originally written in 2015 and was updated in 2020.

You can also check out these lists that are maintained by Chad Walters and by Joel Gross.

Here’s a list of Lean blogs, in no particular order… it’s a list, not a ranking.

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Topics: Lean

More Social Distancing Tips from Our CEO, Dr. Greg Jacobson

Posted by Mark Graban

Apr 15, 2020 3:00:00 PM

As we continue to practice social distancing every day, there might be some things that slip your mind when running essential errands. Greg Jacobson, MD has been sharing a lot of great tips and information about dealing with and protecting yourself from the Covid-19 pandemic. He was recently quoted in this article that has a lot of tips from Greg and other medical professionals:

Social Distancing Mistakes That Put You At Risk For Coronavirus


On the topic of masks, Greg said:

"...according to ER doctor Greg Jacobson, MD, "People don't wear a mask and, when they do, they don't take it off correctly. It's a mistake to take off their mask from the front and then touch the 'contaminated' area." To remove a mask safely, "wash your hands (with soap and hot water for 20 seconds), remove the mask from loops, and put it in a safe place and then wash your hands again," says Jacobson." 

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Opportunities for Improvement in Walking for Exercise

Posted by Mark Graban

Apr 2, 2020 5:10:00 PM

During this era of Covid-19, I've had to make some adjustments to my exercise habits. I've made some improvements and some of these might still be "Opportunities for Improvements" (or what we call OIs at KaiNexus). We believe in the power of sharing continuous improvement ideas and that's something our customers do all the time. 

So, the latest in our series on OIs in everyday life is about walking.

One improvement that comes from not being able to travel for work is that I really have no excuse for not exercising. I can't blame being tired at the end of a long, busy day, and I can't point to the lame hotel gym as an excuse.

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