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Experts Available to Discuss the Benefit of Lean Management to Dramatically Improve Healthcare Delivery

TOPIC: Healthcare reform is forcing hospitals, labs, clinics, and other healthcare providers to find ways to save costs and improve quality. Instead of eliminating critical services or trimming key staff, a growing number of leading healthcare providers are turning to lean management concepts pioneered by industry to identify and eliminate waste. The benefit: healthcare costs come down, quality goes up, healthcare staff and doctors have more time to spend with patients, who get better care.

- CFO Magazine recently noted that ThedaCare, a four-hospital health system, based in Appleton, WI, connected with Ariens, a nearby manufacturer of snowblowers, which had been on a lean journey for several years.

- The Jacksonville Business Journal reported that local providers, including a lab, hospital, and “lean dentist,” are applying lean management to eliminate errors, time, and costs from treatment.

The Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) and the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value (TCHV), two nonprofits that recently formed the Healthcare Value Leaders Network to fundamentally improve healthcare delivery through lean management, can provide subject matter experts to discuss how lean concepts apply to healthcare. The partnership is based on the belief that unless waste and errors are eliminated from processes delivering care in hospitals, clinics, operating rooms, pharmacies, emergency rooms, and outpatient centers, proposed reforms will only be different ways to pay for and perpetuate a broken system.

Lean Healthcare Experts

Mark Graban, senior fellow at LEI, facilitator with the Healthcare Value Leaders partnership, author of the Shingo Prize-winning book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Satisfaction.

Mark Graban is a senior fellow at LEI, where he plays a leading role with Healthcare Value Leaders, a nonprofit partnership between LEI and the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value. He is the author of the Shingo Prize-winning book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Satisfaction. Previously, Graban worked as a consultant for numerous healthcare organizations across North America and in the United Kingdom, and continues to educate healthcare providers and advise healthcare leaders. Graban also leads and participates in discussions about lean healthcare on his blog. With a background in Industrial Engineering, Graban practiced lean in various manufacturing industries, learning how lean management methods could be translated into different settings. He has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.B.A. from MIT.

Media contact: Chet Marchwinski

cmarchwinski@lean.org 

617-871-2930

John Toussaint, MD, CEO of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, former president and CEO of ThedaCare, Inc., author of the recent Health Affairs article “Writing The New Playbook For U.S. Health Care: Lessons From Wisconsin"

John Toussaint, MD, is founder and president of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value. From 2000 to 2008, Dr. Toussaint served as president and chief executive officer of ThedaCare, Inc., a community-owned, four-hospital health system including 21physician clinics, hospices and other facilities. During his tenure as president and CEO, Dr. Toussaint introduced the ThedaCare Improvement System (TIS), which is derived from the Toyota Production system. This model of continuous improvement helped save more than $27 million dollars in healthcare costs by reducing errors, improving outcomes, and delivering better quality care. Under Dr. Toussaint’s watch, ThedaCare’s revenue grew two and a half times. The organization received multiple quality awards including the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s No. 1 ranking for HEDIS® measures two years in a row. His article “Writing The New Playbook For U.S. Health Care: Lessons From Wisconsin" appears in the September/October 2009 edition of the journal Health Affairs.