Toyota's Lean Production System Makes Inroads in Healthcare and Hospitals

As Boeing’s Director of World Class Competitiveness the tenacious tough-minded John Black finally induced the world’s largest manufacturer of passenger airplanes to adopt the lean production tenets of Japanese car maker Toyota. One result was the time-saving moving production line that constructed the Boeing 777 airliner and reduced the building time for the Boeing 737 jet from 29 days to eleven days with a future target of about six days.

Today the lean passionate Black and Joanne Poggetti, his partner, are turning their insights garnered from the Boeing experience and applying them to the implementation of healthcare in the Seattle and Saskatchewan hospital systems. Reductions in patient lead time, the timely processing of medical tests, the reduction of waste and the systems by which daily supplies get to the right goals are just some of the practices being put into practice through a $40 million contract to his company JBA Consulting, headquartered in Seattle, Washington, has with many hospital systems in the province of Saskatchewan. ” We are just in the third inning of overhauling the delivery of the health services industry,” Black tells me during one of our many conversations the past several days. ” The overweening goal is defect free patient care that is standardized to reduce the time required for the path to tests and treatment.” Proof of the pudding; change is evident in the 34 percent reduction in patient lead time, the speeding up of obtaining test results, the elimination of wasteful overhead, employing the same kind of disciplined organization of process as used in the manufacturer of the Boeing 777 and 737 airliners.

In the U.S. according to Poggetti, the Mayo Medical Labs in Minnesota “ have implemented all elements of the Toyota production system.” Every medical test specimen is charted carefully and is believed to be defect free. As well, the Saskatchewan hospitals have applied the Toyota discipline to Operating Room procedure maintaining an on time schedule asserts Poggetti ,a former student of Edward Deming, perhaps American management’s greatest guru.

To comprehend what John Black is all about I read and studied the intense non-nonsense expression of his purpose in life as outlined by his large laminated business card, which is divided up into the precise instructive lessons absorbed from Toyota and other Japanese management geniuses as well as how they are translated, maybe transmitted into the healthcare world. The business card has a sense of urgency about its subject matters. It is he most intense, determined, insightful, valuable business card I have ever seen in my life of reporting on business and finance.

Learning lean production from John Black and Associates LLC. features the Shingijutsu 7 Kaizen steps that range from resetting the standards to new improved process, while identifying and eliminating barriers. Then add in Toyota Factory’s ZERO rules: among them ZERO customer dissatisfaction, ZERO misalignment, ZERO waste, ZERO breakdowns, ZERO defects. Next to the ZERO rules are Toyota’s Factory work directions: L for listen, E for explain, A for assist, D for direct, E for evaluate and R for Respond. That spells LEADER if you didn’t know. All this is intimately related to Black’s 7 Flows of Medicine which feature the greatest emphasis on Flow of Information and Flow of Supplies.

So, John Black is demanding. But, he’s also tough and matter of fact about getting rid of the obstacles to applying the techniques of Japanese car making to the delivery of health. In the very tiny print that makes up his enumerated Lean Action Plan Black includes this terse take no prisoners attitude; “Deal with excess people at onset- devise a growth strategy– remove the anchor draggers, managers who won’t give new ideas a fair trial- recognize the early leaders who can change others.” Here’s way to create a sense of urgency; Seize or create crises to get Lean.

And by the way; “Gear pay to value creation– devise lean accounting-make everything transparent, especially defects.” Are you listening General Motors?

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Toyota's Lean Production System Makes Inroads in Healthcare and Hospitals
test of japanese – Yahoo News Search Results
test of japanese – Yahoo News Search Results

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