The Data Dilemma

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How often have you seen improvement projects stall for lack of accurate data? The problem is especially difficult in healthcare because the business intelligence systems – usually an EMR system – is focused on billing, not process. There is usually a large gap between when an event happens and when… Read more »

The Cultural Continuum

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Lean daily management is first and foremost a cultural development tool that operates by empowering staff through the teaching and application of lean concepts. As such it is important to understand that each individual, each unit, and the entire hospital develop at different rates. This cultural development can be understood… Read more »

Why Lean Six Sigma Fails

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The majority of Lean Six Sigma programs suffer from a fatal flaw – they fundamentally do not understand what lean truly is. They faithfully deploy a set of improvement tools, to the letter. Great debates rage over such trivialities as the exact phrasing of the 7 Wastes, or which direction,… Read more »

The System of LDM

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One of the biggest mistakes organizations that are new to Lean Daily Management (LDM) make is to forget that they are building a system, not simply a series of independent huddle boards. These boards operate in departmental silos and focus on department-level goals without an eye to the long-term vision on the hospital. As a result, the boards never really move the core metrics that matter to senior leaders. The solution, like so many other things in lean, is to simply focus on the patient.

Leadership: Manufacturing vs. Hospital

Underestimating the size of the cultural change needed is one of the most common mistakes that leadership makes when implementing a lean program. All too often leaders and process improvement practitioners place too much focus on lean tools and methodologies and not enough focus on the people and human structure… Read more »

A Deeper Understanding of Quality

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One problem hospitals face is that the perspective of the patient, or “voice of the customer”, is lost. There is little linkage between the daily activities of front-line staff and the ultimate delivery of value to the patient, meaning that there is not a clear understanding of how those daily activities impact the final care that patients receive. This linkage is difficult to achieve due to the complexity of hospital operations, but it can be done.

Integrating LDM Into an Existing LSS Structure

When a traditional lean or six sigma organization first encounters lean daily management there is an initial hesitation to implement LDM because they have made a significant investment into the current structure.  There is an existing hierarchy of training, projects following a management format (usually DMAIC), a method for review… Read more »

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