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Big Mistakes Made by Healthcare Organizations Implementing Lean

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 4, 2018 12:34:01 PM

The Lean approach to business management has its roots in manufacturing, but today it is widely used in hospitals and other healthcare organizations. The ideas of waste reduction and process controls are attractive, but some leaders implementing Lean healthcare run into some pretty serious challenges.

Here are a few of the most common mistakes.

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Topics: Lean Healthcare

Lean Software Is Not Just for Manufacturing Companies

Posted by Clint Corley

Feb 14, 2018 6:26:00 AM

When people ask me about my job and I explain that my company offers Lean software, people who know anything about the Lean business management methodology usually assume that all of our customers are manufacturers. That’s not an unreasonable assumption given Lean’s origins in the Japanese automobile industry, but it’s also not true. We have customers in all sort of industries from banking to non-profit. We have clients in industries ranging from logistics and financial services companies to construction companies and hospitals.

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Topics: Lean, Continuous Improvement Software, Lean Healthcare

How to Drive Performance Improvement Using KaiNexus in Healthcare

Posted by Kristin Bentz

Dec 22, 2016 8:13:00 AM

Identify, Specify and Create Value for the Users

Kristin Bentz, RN, BSN, CPHQ
Lean Transformation Specialist, LeeHealth

I am a registered nurse by trade. I spent the first 18 years of my career career caring for critically ill and injured patients in large healthcare institutions nationwide. Before the turn of the century, the words ‘quality’ and ‘performance improvement’ were not commonly used in the clinical environment. Policies and procedures were typically drafted by senior leaders who were far removed from current state front line. This operational disconnect resulted in functional barriers to performance, and these barriers were often addressed by the creation of process workarounds.  These workarounds then evolved into practices of normalized deviance and unfortunately surfaced as root causes for many medical errors.

When the Institute of Medicine released To Err is Human in 1999, the US health care system had a rude awakening. We were a human services industry who contributed to more fatalities per year than car crashes and firearms. We were informed that as many as 98,000 Americans die every year at the hands of health care professionals. After 16 years of quality and safety initiatives from the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, The Joint Commission, and a trillion dollars in federal health care legislation, the British Journal of Medicine now cites that the third leading cause of death in the United States is attributed to medical negligence.  It is estimated that over 250,000 patients per year enter our health care facilities and die because of errors in care delivery.  The initial root cause analysis blamed system failures in health care communication and collaboration for the accidental death of patients, and these systemic failures continue to plague our health care institutions today.

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Topics: Customer Testimonials, Lean Healthcare

Everyday Examples of the 8 Wastes of Lean

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jul 13, 2016 7:30:00 AM

If you are striving to become a Lean organization, waste elimination is probably near the top of your list. In fact, Lean practitioners have identified very specific types of waste, known collectively as the 8 Wastes of Lean. Certain types of waste are really easy to spot and fix, while others can remain unnoticed. We thought it might be helpful to share some practical examples of how each type of waste occurs in business and in the larger world.

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Topics: Lean, Daily Lean Management, Lean Healthcare

Improving the Way We Manage [Preview of "Lean Hospitals" 3rd Ed.]

Posted by Greg Jacobson

Jun 14, 2016 7:30:00 AM

Our Mark Graban has been with the KaiNexus team for five years now. In that time, he's released the 2nd edition (2011) and now the 3rd edition (June 2016) of his book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement. Many of healthcare customers have used his book to introduce Lean to their organizations or to further their Lean efforts.

Here is an excerpt from the start of Chapter 11, on leading and engaging employees:


Lean is not just about tools. It is also a distinct management method that guides what we do as managers and how we lead our employees. Former Toyota executive Gary Convis wrote:

“Management has no more critical role than motivating and engaging large numbers of people to work together toward a common goal. Defining and explaining what that goal is, sharing a path to achieving it, motivating people to take the journey with you, and assisting them by removing obstacles—these are management’s reason for being.”[i]

Is that true, today, for all leaders in your organization?

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Topics: Lean, Lean Healthcare

An Interview with Mark Graban on the Role of Lean in Healthcare

Posted by Becca Millard

Jul 28, 2015 2:06:00 PM

We like to help you stay in the know about what's up in the Lean Healthcare world, which can often mean letting you know what our Mark Graban is up to. In case you don't know, Mark Graban is the 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. He now serves as the VP of Customer Success at KaiNexus.

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Topics: Lean Healthcare

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