Posted by: Knightbird | June 1, 2011

Lean Leaders in Print

My advocacy for adoption of Lean Healthcare in the Alaska Tribal Health System spans 5 years. In 2004 Chugachmiut started its journey. In 2006 I wrote a letter to the 2 most influential leaders in our system, with no impact. In 2008 I spent time with another influential leader, and this interaction plus many others might bear fruit in a couple of years. I have spoken to the policy makers at many tribal health boards and some basically want me to shut up and stop wasting their time. I have used many examples from the numerous stories on the web about lean healthcare successes, and I am ecstatic that three books were written in 2010 that are far more articulate than I have been about the value of lean thinking to health care. Here they are.

Toussaint, John and Gerard, Roger A., On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry, Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc. (2010)

Kenney, Charles. “Transforming Health Care: Virginia Mason Medical Center’s Pursuit of the Perfect Patient Experience,” CRC Press (2010)

Wellman, Joan; Hagan, Pat and Jeffries, Howard. “Leading the Lean Healthcare Journey: Driving Culture Change to Increase Value,” CRC Press (2010)

I read Kenney’s book, and the story mesmerized me. I found the book in our local used book store, Title Wave Books, and finished it within 2 days. I just received my copy of John Toussaint’s book, and I will be finished soon. I have ordered “Leading the Healthcare Journey” which should be here soon.

I plan to share this list with our tribal health leadership. I can only hope that they will read what’s in it.


  1. These are three outstanding books. I’m glad there’s so much more being published with great lean healthcare stories. Now, we’re also getting nice books on specific areas, including this new one on Lean for emergency departments:

    The Definitive Guide to Emergency Department Operational Improvement: Employing Lean Principles with Current ED Best Practices to Create the “No Wait” Department

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