Press Release
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Book About Making Sustainable Change to Improve Healthcare Receives Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award

April 28, 2014

LOGAN, Utah – The Shingo Institute, part of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, has awarded Judy Worth, Tom Shuker, Beau Keyte, Karl Ohaus, Jim Luckman, David Verble, Kirk Paluska and Todd Nickel with the Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award for their work “Perfecting Patient Journeys.” The book was published by the Lean Enterprise Institute.


“Receipt of the Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award signifies these authors contribution to the body of knowledge surrounding operational excellence,” said Robert Miller, executive director of the Shingo Institute. “The intent is to motivate others to learn from them.”


In 2001 Virginia Mason Medical Center launched what may be the first hospital-wide experiment applying Toyota Production System thinking and practices to healthcare. In the interim, many healthcare organizations, including hospitals, clinics and individual medical and dental practices have incorporated a variety of lean practices and tools (or methodologies for eliminating unnecessary or non-value added activities to provide the most benefit to the end customer). While there has been significant progress, many organizations have been limited to localized improvement efforts or temporary improvements in process performance followed by a failure to sustain them.


In “Perfecting Patient Journeys,” the authors offer a step-by-step guide for using value stream improvement (VSI) methodology to make real and sustainable change to improve operational performance and to develop an adaptive, problem-solving culture.


“’Perfecting Patient Journeys’ is a hospital-tested, how-to guide for using lean management principles in healthcare,” said John Schook, chairman and CEO of the Lean Enterprise Institute. “In a series of projects sponsored by the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, 70 hospitals across the state used the methodology described here to improve emergency room value streams. The methodology that it describes combines both the scientific and cultural components needed to begin transforming healthcare delivery. In this innovative approach, small teams attend collaborative learning sessions and then team members coach their staffs in the improvement process. This method of socialization engaged physicians and nurses, giving them the science necessary to make change and the ability to positively influence their work environments and change their cultures.”


By “challenging” or applying for an award, authors invite a group of accomplished professionals and trained examiners from the Shingo Institute to thoroughly review their publications. The examiners select recipients based on a rigorous set of standards.


Worth, Shuker, Keyte, Ohaus, Luckman, Verble, Paluska and Nickel will receive the award during the Awards Gala of the 26th Shingo International Conference held in Sandusky, Ohio the week of May 5-9, 2014. The opening social is the beginning of this five-day event featuring a selection of workshops, plant tours, keynote speakers and breakout sessions designed to provide ongoing knowledge, insights and experience for organizations in their pursuit of operational excellence.


About the Shingo Institute

Housed at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, the Shingo Institute is named after Japanese industrial engineer Shigeo Shingo. Dr. Shingo distinguished himself as one of the world’s thought leaders in concepts, management systems and improvement techniques that have become known as the Toyota Business System. Drawing from Dr. Shingo’s teachings and years of experience working with organizations throughout the world, the Shingo Institute has developed the Shingo Model™ which is the basis for several educational offerings including workshops, study tours and conferences. It also awards and recognizes organizations that demonstrate an exceptional culture that continually strives for improvement and progress. Those interested in more information or in registering to attend the 26th International Shingo Conference may visit www.shingo.org.


The authors offer a step-by-step guide for using value stream improvement (VSI) methodology to make real and sustainable change to improve operational performance and to develop an adaptive, problem-solving culture.