Mark Graban

Mark Graban
Mark Graban
The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen: Leadership for a Continuously Learning and Improving Organization
Hospitals and health systems are facing many challenges, including shrinking reimbursements and the need to improve patient safety and quality. A growing number of healthcare organizations are turning to the Lean management system as an alternative to traditional cost cutting and layoffs. “Kaizen,” which is translated from Japanese as “good change” or “change for the better,” is a core pillar of the Lean strategy for today’s best healthcare organizations.

Kaizen is a powerful approach for creating a continuously learning and continuously improving organizations. A Kaizen culture leads to everyday actions that improve patient care and create better workplaces, while improving the organization’s long-term bottom line. The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen is the perfect introduction to executives and leaders who want to create and support this culture of continuous improvement.

The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen is an introduction to kaizen principles and an overview of the leadership behaviors and mindsets required to create a kaizen culture or a culture of continuous improvement. The book is specifically written for busy C-level executives, vice presidents, directors, and managers who need to understand the power of this methodology.

The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen shares real and practical examples and stories from leading healthcare organizations, including Franciscan St. Francis Health System, located in Indiana. Franciscan St. Francis’ employees and physicians have implemented and documented 4,000 Kaizen improvements each of the last three years, resulting in millions of dollars in hard savings and softer benefits for patients and staff.

Chapters cover topics such as the need for Kaizen, different types of Kaizen (including Rapid Improvement Events and daily Kaizen), creating a Kaizen culture, practical methods for facilitating Kaizen improvements, the role of senior leaders and other leaders in Kaizen, and creating an organization-wide Kaizen program.

The book contains a new introduction by Gary Kaplan, MD, CEO of Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, which was named “Hospital of the Decade” in 2012.

The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen is a companion book to the larger book Healthcare Kaizen: Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements (published in 2012). Healthcare Kaizen is a longer, more complete “how to” guide that includes over 200 full color images, including over 100 real kaizen examples from various health systems around the world. Healthcare Kaizen was named a recipient of the prestigious Shingo Professional Publication and Research Award.
Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement
Healthcare Kaizen: Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements
Author site
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San Antonio, TX
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized expert in the field of “Lean Healthcare,” as a consultant, author, keynote speaker, and blogger. Mark is also the Vice President of Innovation and Improvement Services for the software company KaiNexus, helping further their mission of “making improvement happen” in healthcare organizations and other industries.

He is the author of the book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement (Productivity Press), which was selected for a 2009 Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award, the first healthcare book to win this award, and is being translated into eight languages. A 2nd revised edition was released in November, 2011.

Mark has also co-authored a new book, titled Healthcare Kaizen: Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements, which was released in June 2012 and also given the Shingo Research Award in 2013. A newly revised and condensed edition, The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen: Leadership for a Continuously Learning and Improving Organization was released in August, 2013.

He is the founder and lead blogger and podcaster at LeanBlog.org, started in January 2005.

Mark earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University as well as an MS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the MIT Sloan Leaders for Global Operations Program (previously known as Leaders for Manufacturing). Mark has worked in automotive (General Motors), the PC industry (Dell), and industrial products (Honeywell). At Honeywell, Mark was certified as a “Lean Expert” (Lean Black Belt).

Since August 2005, Mark has worked exclusively in healthcare, where he has coached lean teams at client sites in North America and the United Kingdom, including medical laboratories, hospitals, and primary care clinics. From 2005 to 2009, Mark was a senior consultant with ValuMetrix Services, a division of Johnson & Johnson and he currently consults independently for healthcare organizations.

Mark’s motivation is to apply Lean and Toyota Production System principles to improve quality of care and patient safety, to improve the customer/patient experience, to help the development of medical professionals and employees, and to help build strong organizations for the long term.

From June 2009 to June 2011, Mark was a Senior Fellow with the Lean Enterprise Institute, a not-for-profit educational organization that is a leading voice in the Lean world. Mark served as the LEI’s “Chief Engineer” for healthcare activities, including workshops, web & social media, and other publications. Mark also served as the Director of Communication & Technology for the Healthcare Value Network, a collaboration of healthcare organizations from across North America, a partnership between LEI and the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value.

A member of the National Speakers Association, Mark is a popular speaker at conferences and private healthcare meetings. Mark has spoken across the U.S., in multiple provinces across Canada, and other countries including Finland, Holland, and Sweden. He has guest lectured at schools including MIT, Wharton, UT Health Science Center, and Ohio State University and has served as a faculty member for the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. He has been quoted and interviewed in many publications, including Health Affairs and the New York Times.

Mark and his wife live in San Antonio, Texas. Mark serves on the board of the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, the board of the AME Southwest Region, and on the advisory board for the Michigan Lean Consortium. Mark is also an advisory board member for the startup technology company Homeward Healthcare.
Healthcare Kaizen — Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements
“How Lean Thinking Helps Hospitals” (tailored for healthcare or non-healthcare audiences)
7 Key Lean Mindsets for Healthcare
Why Your Hospital Should be Like a Factory??? Or At Least Some???

People don’t resist change, they resist being changed. — Peter Scholtes