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Healthcare Kaizen: Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 860-1400977804
ISBN-10: 1439872961
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Editorial Reviews


Mark Graban is one of the most respected voices in the Lean world. He is the founder and driving force behind Lean Blog, (http://www.leanblog.org/blog/) a vibrant site he continuously updates with compelling information and analysis about lean in health care. Mark’s new book, Healthcare Kaizen: Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements (co-authored with Joseph E. Swartz), is a must read for anyone on a Lean journey. At Virginia Mason, the concept of kaizen, which Mark and Joe write about so well in the new book, is ingrained in the organization’s cultural DNA. … The real goal of Lean in health care, they write, is cultural transformation. This is an essential insight. At Virginia Mason, the work of adapting the Toyota Production System to health care in the form of the Virginia Mason Production System has cultural transformation at its core. This sort of change is anything but easy. Culture, as the saying goes, tends to eat strategy for lunch. But cultural change is transformative.. … Mark and Joe understand the patience required to do this work well. They recognize the power of the sort of continuous incremental improvement at the heart of the Toyota Production System. … The book is highly detailed and includes helpful discussion questions at the end of each chapter.
Virginia Mason Medical Center Blog, Could this new book help drive your Lean journey?
Read the full review at: http://virginiamasonblog.org/2012/09/05/could-this-new-book-help-drive-your-lean-journey/

I hope you will discover, as we have, the incredible creativity that can be derived by engaging and supporting each and every employee in improvements that they themselves lead.
―Robert (Bob) J. Brody, CEO, Franciscan St. Francis Health

Front line staff must know, understand, embrace and drive Kaizen and its tools to achieve incremental and continuous improvements. This book will help health care organizations around the world begin and advance their journey.
―Gary Kaplan, MD, FACP, FACMPE, FACPE, Chairman and CEO, Virginia Mason Medical Center, and Chairman of the Board, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Healthcare leaders need to read this book to understand that their management role must radically change to one of supporting daily kaizen if quality safety and cost are to improve in healthcare.
―John Toussaint, MD, CEO, ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value

The healthcare industry is in the midst of truly fundamental change, and those organizations that engage their front line staff … will be well positioned to thrive in a post-reform environment.
―Brett D. Lee, PhD, FACHE, Senior Vice President, Health System Operations, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Healthcare Kaizen
is a practical guide for healthcare leaders aspiring to engage frontline staff in true continuous improvement. Graban and Swartz skillfully illustrate how to foster and support daily continuous improvement in health care settings.
―John E. Billi, MD, Associate Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Michigan

I hope everyone reads this book and recommits to the fundamentals of Lean, particularly the involvement of frontline staff in process redesign.
―Fred Slunecka, Chief Operating Officer, Avera Health

Kaizen has marvelously engaged so many of our staff and enabled them to improve the world around them to the benefit of staff, patients and community.
―Paul Strange, MD, Corporate VP of Quality, Franciscan Alliance

Mark Graban and Joseph Swartz present a clear pathway for successful Lean practice in Healthcare Kaizen. This should be on every healthcare systems reading list.
―David Munch, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, Healthcare Performance Partners

Mark and Joe provide real-life examples of how those who do the work provide ideas for small changes that add up to BIG results. Healthcare Kaizen is a must for leaders whose focus is the patient and how to effectively and efficiently deliver quality and safety with improved outcomes.
―Betty Brown, MBA MSN RN CPHQ FNAHQ, President, National Association for Healthcare Quality

Using examples from Franciscan Health and other forward-thinking medical groups, the book contains valuable strategies for organization-wide cultural transformation to create an more efficient, patient-centered healthcare system dedicated to continuous quality improvement.
Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., President and CEO, American Medical Group Association

This inspirational book is packed with examples and is informed by the authors’ years of experience on the ‘front-lines’ themselves, helping leading healthcare organizations around the world to build successful kaizen programs.
―Alan G. Robinson, PhD, Professor, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts; and Author of Ideas Are Free: How the Idea Revolution Is Liberating People and Transforming Organizations

At Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, everybody improving every day is a critical aspect of our Lean and quality improvement efforts. Healthcare Kaizen, is full of relatable examples as well as practical ideas that will inspire staff, clinicians and leaders at all levels.
―Alice Lee, Vice President, Business Transformation, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

In Healthcare Kaizen, Mark and Joe remind us of the great power of daily problem solving. The story of Franciscan St. Francis Health is compelling, where leaders created the opportunity for great people at the frontline making great improvements for patient care.
―Michel Tétreault, MD, President and CEO, Bruce Roe, MD, Chief Medical Officer, St. Boniface Hospital, Winnipeg, Canada

I have learned that respect for the people who work for you is key to any transformation. Mark Graban and Joseph Swartz do a great job of capturing this truth in their book… This book is a long needed addition to my growing lean healthcare library.
―Patrick Anderson, Executive Director, Chugachmiut, Anchorage, Alaska

The vision of a world in which our healthcare institutions operate with a universal discipline of relentless, patient-centered improvement remains a vitally important yet distant dream. In Healthcare Kaizen, Mark Graban and Joseph Swartz illustrate just how to make that dream a reality.
―Matthew E. May, Author of The Elegant Solution and The Laws of Subtraction

The philosophy, tools and techniques discussed in the book work, and work well, in any environment. We in healthcare must improve – we owe it to our patients and communities – and Mark and Joe are helping to show us the way.
―Dean Bliss, Lean Improvement Advisor, Iowa Healthcare Collaborative

What Mark Graban and Joseph Swartz have done in Healthcare Kaizen is to bring hope and light to a part of our society that is facing increasing challenges. Healthcare Kaizen will be a reference on the subject for many years to come.
―Jon Miller, CEO, Kaizen Institute

Hopefully this book will become a blueprint for healthcare organizations everywhere that truly want to be great!
―Jeffrey Liker, Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan; and Shingo Prize-Winning Author of The Toyota Way

Fixing health care may be our generation’s great test. We’ll need to engage all the good people who currently work in broken systems. Mark and Joe have helped to show us how.
―Pascal Dennis, Lean Pathways, Inc., Author, The Remedy and Andy & Me

Graban and Swartz present the kaizen philosophy in the most accessible way I’ve seen yet. THIS is the missing link in healthcare reform.
―Karen Martin, Author of The Outstanding Organization and The Kaizen Event Planner

In this new book, Graban and Swartz offer a new and innovative approach towards improving the healthcare delivery system. Unlike previous attempts by too many others, the book introduces the reader to the concept of “Kaizen”, often described as the source of Toyota’s transformation into an auto giant, acclaimed worldwide for its quality and service. The timing for the publication could not be better. … Focusing on ‘Kaizen Theory’, the book is illustratively rich in theory and applications. … The reader is introduced to concepts, tools, and exercises that foster creativity and innovation. Graban and Swartz present vivid examples to illustrate visibility, participation and accountability. … Every reader will find great value in this publication. In closing, we look forward to their next book … .
―Miguel Burbano and Whitney Churchill, writing on www.neenan.com

About the Author

Mark Graban is an author, consultant, and speaker in the field of lean healthcare. He is the author of Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement, Second Edition. Mark has worked as a consultant and coach to healthcare organizations throughout North America and Europe. He was formerly a senior fellow with the Lean Enterprise Institute and continues to serve as a faculty member. Mark is also the Chief Improvement Officer for KaiNexus (kainexus.com/), a startup software company that helps healthcare organizations manage continuous improvement efforts. Mark earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University and an MS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the MIT Sloan Leaders for Global Operations Program. Visit his website at MarkGraban.com and his blog at LeanBlog.org.
Joseph E. Swartz is the Director of Business Transformation for Franciscan St. Francis Health of Indianapolis, IN. He has been leading continuous improvement efforts for 18 years, including 7 years in healthcare, and has led more than 200 Lean and Six Sigma improvement projects. Joseph is the co-author of Seeing David in the Stone and was previously an instructor at the University of Wisconsin. Joseph earned an MS in Management from Purdue University as a Krannert Scholar for academic excellence.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Productivity Press; 1 edition (June 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439872961
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439872963
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.8 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #653,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brian Maskell on April 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
The crisis in healthcare is real and it is the people in the hospitals, clinics, and nursing facilities that will solve this crisis as it lumbers towards us. The people working in healthcare are (for the most) smart, resourceful, and dedicated to their patients. This new book on Healthcare Kaizen gives them practical and yet comprehensive methods to address the waste and create on-going and increasing improvement. The crisis can not be solved by piecemeal projects. As the authors of Healthcare Kaizen demonstrate, it requires executive leadership, a real vision of excellence, and proven methods of problem solving and improvement. I highly recommend this book.
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The force of Lean lies in the thinking that informs the continuous improvement process. It is easy to become caught up in the tools set of Lean, especially when one mixes in six sigma. Yet, Mark Graban's book powerfully and clearly brings the reader (looking to bring Lean into Healthcare) to a place where they "see" with Lean eyes and can implement changes with appropriate tools. I say appropriate tools because this book does not make the mistake of simply laying out a pre set tool kit. To be sure all the regulars are there. Presented in a functional manner with many real examples (and templates in the Kindle version!). The context of Lean thinking is never lost, however. Mr.Graban teaches how to apply Lean thinking and that generates the tool set...and allows for innovation and adaptation of the tool sets. This is why the book is such an asset in driving a continuous improvement process and creates real and sustainable change. It changes the thinking and culture with practical application and empowered innovation. Buy it, read it, use it and share it...and grow with your team and organization. Enjoy.
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As an actively practicing ER doctor, I like to read texts that are straight-forward, easy to read and provide real life examples. Medical education has moved from delivering dry, boring presentations on diseases to case-based problem solving, consumable information. I think that is the approach that this book has taken. If you're looking for a dense, philosophical, abstract instructional manual for kaizen, this is not the book for you. If you want practical information that gives the clear "what," "why," and "how" on implementing a continuous improvement methodology in a healthcare organization, this book will be an invaluable resource for you. When I worked at Vanderbilt as a faculty physician and implemented a Kaizen program, I used Masaaki Imai's Kaizen: The Key to Japan's Competitive Success as a template. It was great but Healthcare Kaizen would have been extremely helpful.

A culture of continuous improvement does not magically appear in organizations; it results from the application of the information and the disciplined approach to implementation found in this book.

Disclosure: Mark Graban is the chief improvement officer of KaiNexus, where I am the CEO. A journal article of mine was cited and quoted in the book.
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Healthcare kaizen is a great book on how (and why) kaizen works in the hospital environment. As a supplier to hospitals, i found this book very helpful in getting into the mind of our lean-minded customers. As a lean practitioner, the examples provided in the book show a practical illustration of kaizen at work in a hospital environment as well as detail the lessons learned from Toyota. It was like "The Toyota Way" transcribed into another world. I'll use this book to share with my colleagues and as a reference for building our own kaizen culture at my company.
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If you or your organization are starting your lean journey then this is the book you must read. Learning from others who are already in the midst of a lean transformation provided me with actual examples of improvement activities. As a supervisor in radiology, I realize we have to change individually and organizationally, to provide greater value to our patients. Healthcare Kaizen paints a picture of our future healthcare system and how I may contribute to its success.

My greatest obstacles in continuous improvement involve developing Kaizen skills and articulating our future state.
Mark and Joseph have done a tremendous job answering the "how" and "why" of continuous improvement.
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By Bob W.. on October 13, 2014
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A truly excellent book for anyone involved in lean improvements, not just for those in healthcare.

Healthcare Kaizen covers; What is Kaizen? How do you implement and change a culture? What are the lessons learned for continuous improvement?

Topics are organized and covered clearly and thoroughly. Much of the focus was on leadership, which is crucial in any lean environment.

I think my favorite part of the book was all of the Kaizen examples. They range from the very simple to the more complex. Unlike many contemporary books on lean and Kaizen, I never felt I was reading a "textbook". So many times I found myself saying, "We have that same problem in manufacturing."

One final note on the last chapter, Kaizen at Home. It is funny how once people feel the power of Kaizen they wanted to be part of their entire life.
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