Saturday, June 9, 2012

GEMBA and Lean Management in Healthcare

For the past 13 years, Alan Gleghorn has been the CEO of Christie Clinic, one of the largest physician-owned, multi-specialty group medical practices in Illinois. Faced with a challenging economic environment and fierce competition upon his arrival, he quickly sought to guide the organization to a stronger financial and strategic position by empowering his team members to focus on continual organizational improvement. In moving the organization from a command-control leadership to a dispersed/consensus style model, he implemented Lean Healthcare and created a true cultural transformation at Christie.

As Systems Manager, Stephanie Van Vreede is responsible for network coordination at ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value.  She handles the organization of Gemba visits for attendees of the 53 organization-strong healthcare organization. The HVN is a consortium of like-minded healthcare organizations from North America that come together to share and learn, while leveraging their unique perspectives to accomplish a shared goal of fundamentally improving healthcare delivery through lean thinking.

Change is bearing down fast on healthcare in the United States. The good news is that competitive, choice-driven care is still possible, as long as we focus on three essential elements:
The ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value is a resource hub that brings together in one place the important insights, examples and worthy experiments from across health care. We provide the framework and tools needed to unite leaders behind an integrated approach focused on better patient value.

 Gemba has several different meanings, so to start let’s use the literal Japanese translation and define gemba as meaning ‘the real place’.
In traditional (i.e. manufacturing) Lean, gemba is frequently used synonymously with ‘shop floor.’ (You may hear the term genba-with an ‘N’-used interchangeably with gemba. Lean is funny that way. There are many ways to say the same thing.)
But as Lean has migrated to the office, gemba has a new meaning. This ‘real place’ can be in an engineering cubicle, at a cash register in a retail store, or in front of a computer where orders are entered.
It is not as common to hear the term gemba specifically used in the Lean office, but the principle behind ‘going to gemba’ (meaning the real place where the work is being done) is just as strong.

Alan has incorporated GEMBA principles in his Lean Management at Christie Clinic with such success that many health care groups have come to look at Christie Clinic as an example to follow.  In this interview Alan and Stephanie Van Vreed discuss Lean Management and its applications in the healthcare industry.  To watch the entire interview with Alan Gleghorn and Stephanie Van Vreed CLICK HERE

No comments:

Post a Comment