Mark Graban is the consummate translator of the vernacular of the Toyota Production System into the everyday parlance of health care. With each concept and its application, the reader is challenged to consider what is truly possible in the delivery of health care if only standardized systems borrowed from reliable industries, were implemented. Graban provides those trade secrets in an understandable and transparent fashion.
Mark Graban’s book has documented what is now happening in hospitals all across America as we learn to apply the Toyota Production System methodology to healthcare. This book lays out the nuts and bolts of the lean methodology and also describes the more difficult challenges, which have to do with managing change. Graban’s book is full of wins — these are the same type of wins that are happening at Thedacare every day. I wish I could have read this six years ago, as it might have prevented some of the mistakes we made in our lean transformation journey.
There is an enormous shortfall between the healthcare we could receive and what we actually get. Mark Graban explains how those in the system can make care delivery better for everyone — patients, providers, and payers.
The concepts outlined in this book are the most powerful tools that I have ever encountered to foster innovation, ownership, and accountability at the front line staff level. This is a must read for any leader in today’s increasingly complex healthcare industry.
Leaders of today’s healthcare organizations are on a continuous journey to improve results, requiring a relentless focus on improving the underlying process of care delivery and leadership practices. Mark has written a book that provides compelling ideas to help create better places to work, practice medicine and receive safe, high quality care.
Mark Graban has been tirelessly studying the application of LEAN to health care, with an emphasis on respect for the people served by the system as well as the people who provide excellent care. He has an accurate sense of how things work in health systems, which makes his work more meaningful for people who want to make them better.
Lean health care is becoming a global movement. The reasons given are overrun costs, errors that compromise patient safety, time of patients wasted, and general bureaucratic inefficiency. In lean terms the problem is how to eliminate waste. Health care is different than car making. This is true but many, many hospitals are finding the principles of the Toyota Production System apply well and are making remarkable improvements. Unfortunately the remarkable improvements are in specific areas and challenging to sustain because of a mysterious ingredient which the folks at Toyota seem to understand quite well–humans. The humans that health care exists to help also operate the system and are far from perfect. Toyota’s system is actually designed to support the development of people, not to provide a quick fix set of technical solutions, and this takes time and patience. Many health care consultants have rebadged themselves as lean consultants and do not understand the real thinking behind the Toyota Production System. Mark Graban is an exception. He has worked hard to study the philosophy and stay true to the thinking of Toyota . His book is a welcome translation of the Toyota Production System into language any health care professional can understand.
The medical community has a tremendous opportunity to learn methods and techniques to improve the quality and efficiency of care and reduce costs, while at the same time engaging the staff in these efforts. Mark Graban has deep experience applying lean in the healthcare field, and in his book provides an outline of how to transfer concepts originally developed in manufacturing into the unique environment of medical care. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn and apply some great ideas in your organization.
It is obvious that Mark has spent time in the trenches of healthcare, and understands the complexities of applying the Lean philosophy and tools to that environment. If you want to improve your chances of surviving in today's healthcare system (both literally and figuratively), read this book.
Mark Graban's book will leave you with an appreciation for what Lean is and what it can do for your healthcare organization. Since the original edition in 2008, I have conducted Lean Hospitals book studies for all my staff. Everyone gets a personal copy of Lean Hospitals for the study and to keep as a reference. I look forward to the 3rd edition. It's my Lean bible.
“Mark Graban provides a helpful translation of the terms, practices, and tools of lean thinking into hospitals' everyday situations and challenges. His book illustrates lean's elements with many actual examples of lean applications in typical hospital practices and procedures. Graban's book should definitely be on the reading list for those who want to bring the benefits of lean thinking to healthcare.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) calls for systems in healthcare that support continuous learning and process improvement, and highlights waste as a fundamental obstacle to attaining highly reliable and value-based healthcare systems. Lean is a proven way to eliminate waste, while hardwiring systems to ensure sustainability. Eliminating waste and engaging employees are the key to value-based medicine, where waste is identified and eliminated, and value emanates seamlessly from continuous process improvement in the rich environment of a continuously learning organization. Lean Hospitals is a foundational text for understanding the concepts and application of continuous process improvement in a healthcare environment, and provides practical guidance and concrete examples to eliminate waste and increase value to the customer.
By Brian Buck:
“Leaders will get a lot from this book. Lean requires management to change in order to support front-line improvements. Mark provides many concrete things leaders can do to make their journey successful.”
From the TWI Service Blog:
“Graban very quickly takes you deep into thought provoking examples about the healthcare industry – pushing the reader beyond the common Lean definitions and into the real world. How refreshing! No made up stories in somebody’s garden or garage or a skip-hop-and-a-jump through imaginary utopias; NO – Lean Hospitals is the real world application of lean with all of its successes and many lessons learned.”
“For those looking for an introduction to the world of Lean, or even just a set of interesting ideas from progressive human healthcare to cherry pick, Lean Hospitals is an excellent starting point.”