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From The CriticsReviewer: Lena L Watson, Dr. RN, MBA/HCM(University of Phoenix)
Description: Using as an example the renowned and highly successful Japanese auto maker, the author discusses how the Toyota Production System model, or Lean method, can increase efficiency and quality of care when applied to healthcare systems.
Purpose: The book introduces readers to concepts and applications successfully implemented at Boeing, Genie-Terex, Wiremold, and other corporations. The Lean production system is a method that has a proven track record of success since World War II when it was first introduced by the Toyota Motor Corporation. Its focus is to eliminate waste while simultaneously seeking ways to increase value-added production. The author describes how this approach was applied to Virginia Mason Healthcare System, resulting in reenergized care delivery that dramatically improved quality of care, reduced patient errors, and increased profitability. These are important objectives because the healthcare industry holds many opportunities to reduce excessive resources, increase production, and create greater synergy among workers and processes. The author shares his experience in a practical way to illustrate potential capabilities for other providers faced with similar challenges.
Audience: The audience includes anyone responsible for healthcare systems. This may include CEOs, boards of directors, and managers. In addition, it is a great source for healthcare consultants.
Features: "The book describes seven wastes in healthcare and recommendations to alleviate them. There are success stories and case examples from various providers who have had success implementing the Lean program. Numerous diagrams, matrices, and tables further illustrate the Lean concepts. At the conclusion of each chapter, there are summaries called "Take Aways." An afterword from the author summarizes key points of the book as well as further recommendations. The glossary of Japanese terms reinforces the definitions provided throughout the book. "
Assessment: This is a handy book for courageous leaders seeking ways to streamline workflows, improve staff morale, and improve patient outcomes. If the author's claims hold true, if applied correctly, the Lean method has the potential to change healthcare for the better.