I was invited to be a content advisor for a Kaizen training program.
production system is known for following Kaizen. It refers to a system which constantly works to improve various processes; this could be implied to business, production lines or health care. Training involves all employees from CEO to security. Organizations like NASA to hospitals are using the core philosophy of Kaizen and lean principles. I was able to attend some of it but what I heard and what I have read in the past was most interesting. Toyota
Kaizen demonstrates a strong desire to eliminate Muda, a Japanese word for wasteful or non value activity. If you look at the way we do work, there is a lot of duplication in what we do. From my perspective nurses ask all the same questions to the patient as we do. Past medical history of a patient is not updated in medical records. We invent the wheel all over again when we admit an old patient. There is a lot of Muda from where I see it.
This whole week I have been seeing people running in black vest, working on small projects other than their usual duties. One of the ideas one staff member came up was to implement a color coded patient census board. Like red denoted 100 % census and yellow 75%. This helps with early discharges and other planning involved.
The five main principle of Kaizen are
§ Personal discipline
§ Improved morale
§ Quality circles
§ Suggestions for improvement
Kaizen Way, a book by Robert Maurer deals with applying Kaizen principles on a more personal level. You may find it an interesting read.
About the Picture: Port Canaveral, Florida.