KaiNexus’ Mark Graban, Releases New Book on Engaging Front-Line Staff in "Kaizen" Improvements

Chief Improvement Officer of KaiNexus, Mark Graban, announced today his new book, "Healthcare Kaizen: Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements," co-authored with Joseph Swartz, will be available online on June 27.
Healthcare Kaizen by Mark Graban & Joseph E. Swartz, Cover
Healthcare Kaizen by Mark Graban & Joseph E. Swartz, Cover
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June 19, 2012 - PRLog -- Lean healthcare expert and Chief Improvement Officer of KaiNexus, Mark Graban, announced today his new book, Healthcare Kaizen: Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements, co-authored with Joseph Swartz, will be available online on June 27.  

“Hospitals and health systems are under great pressure to simultaneously improve quality and reduce costs,” said Graban.  “Kaizen, as a methodology, provides a way to engage everybody –  front-line staff and leaders at all levels –  so they are able to drive improvements that lead to improved patient care and service.”

Over the past seven years and, for the past year with KaiNexus, Graban has worked in dozens of healthcare facilities to help implement Kaizen and lean practices.  Healthcare Kaizen focuses on the principles and methods of daily continuous improvement, or “Kaizen,” for healthcare professionals and organizations. Kaizen is a Japanese word that means “change for the better,” popularized by Masaaki Imai in his 1986 book KAIZEN and through the books of Norman Bodek, both of whom contributed introductory material for this book.

Imai’s book was the inspiration for the initial Kaizen work of KaiNexus co-founder, Gregory Jacobson, MD. Examples from Jacobson’s research and work with Kaizen at Vanderbilt University Medical Center are included in the book. Additionally, KaiNexus’ technology, web and iOS-based software that “makes improvement easier”™ is highlighted in a section of Graban’s book on electronic systems for managing Kaizen improvements in healthcare.  

Healthcare Kaizen shares some of the methods used by numerous hospitals, including Franciscan St. Francis Healthcare, where changes were made to save about $2 million a year, as well as improvements to quality, patient safety, patient satisfaction, and staff engagement.  Most importantly, the book covers the management mindsets and philosophies required to make Kaizen work effectively in a hospital department or as an organization-wide program.

All of the examples in the book were shared by leading healthcare organizations, with many full-color pictures and visual illustrations of Kaizen-based improvements that were initiated by chief operating officers, nurses, housekeepers, and other staff members at all levels.

Healthcare Kaizen will be helpful for organizations that have embraced weeklong improvement events, but now want to follow the lead of ThedaCare, Virginia Mason Medical Center, and others who have moved beyond just doing events into a more complete management system based on “Lean” or the “Toyota Production System.”

EARLY REVIEWS: “Healthcare leaders need to read this book to understand that their management role must radically change to one of supporting daily kaizen if quality, safety, and cost are to improve in healthcare” —John Toussaint, MD, CEO, ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value.  

“Healthcare Kaizen is a practical guide for healthcare leaders aspiring to engage frontline staff in true continuous improvement. Graban and Swartz skillfully illustrate how to foster and support daily continuous improvement in health care settings” —John E. Billi, MD, Associate Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Michigan.  

“Front line staff must know, understand, embrace and drive Kaizen and its tools to achieve incremental and continuous improvements. This book will help health care organizations around the world begin and advance their journey”  —Gary Kaplan, MD, FACP, FACMPE, FACPE, Chairman and CEO, Virginia Mason Medical Center, and Chairman of the Board, Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

“Simple and actionable, “Healthcare Kaizen” is filled with practical information, great examples, and is an inspiring read. Improving quality and decreasing costs can be daunting and seemingly impossible when you look at trying to solve the problem in one stroke. Once you understand that every single person can be a part of the solution, the problem becomes manageable and feasible. Kaizen is a big part of the solution, a very big part, and this book will give you the nuts and bolts of how everyone can be part of the solution.” – Gregory Jacobson, MD, CEO, KaiNexus.

Published by Productivity Press, Healthcare Kaizen is a 408-page paperback that retails for $59.95.  Editorial copies are available upon request (via Jason Kirshner of RMS Public Relations – Jason@rms-biz.com) or consumer copies may be purchased by visiting Amazon.com and other online retailers.

For more information, please visit www.hckaizen.com.


Joseph E. Swartz is the Director of Business Transformation for Franciscan St. Francis Health of Indianapolis, IN. He has been leading continuous improvement efforts for 18 years, including 7 years in healthcare, and has led more than 200 Lean and Six Sigma improvement projects. Joseph is the co-author of Seeing David in the Stone and was previously an instructor at the University of Wisconsin. Joseph earned an MS in Management from Purdue University as a Krannert Scholar for academic excellence.

Mark Graban is the author of the Shingo Award-winning book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement and the upcoming book Healthcare Kaizen: Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements.  He is also the founder of LeanBlog.org and Chief Improvement Officer of KaiNexus, a software startup.  With a background in engineering and manufacturing, Graban has worked exclusively in healthcare since 2005 where he applies “lean” and Toyota Production System principles to improve quality of care and patient safety, to improve the customer/patient experience, to help the development of medical professionals and employees, and to help build strong organizations for the long term.  For more information, please visit www.MarkGraban.com.

About KaiNexus

Founded in 2009, KaiNexus “makes improvement easier” for healthcare by facilitating communication throughout the entire organization with its web-based technology.  KaiNexus helps manage all facets of an improvement program, including daily improvement (kaizen), events, and projects.  It provides the backbone for initiating, managing, and spreading continuous improvement.  It is built for the realities of today’s complex healthcare organizations, helping better facilitate staff and physician-driven continuous improvement efforts.
The KaiNexus platform has been in use by multiple departments throughout the Vanderbilt University Medical Center since early 2011, after they participated in the development of early versions of the software, starting in 2005.   KaiNexus is now in use in nine healthcare organizations, including UNC Health Care System, Presbyterian Healthcare Services (NM), and Centra Health (VA).

For more information, visit http://www.KaiNexus.com or check out KaiNexus on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Note to Editors

Gregory Jacobson MD, Co-Founder and CEO of KaiNexus, graduated from Washington University in St Louis in 1997 with a BS in Biology.  He attended Baylor College of Medicine from 1997 to 2001.  From 2001 to 2004, he completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he then stayed on as faculty.  Starting in 2004, it was his observation and research of operational inefficiencies and unrealized improvement opportunities that resulted in the creation of a rudimentary software tool at VUMC and, ultimately, the founding of KaiNexus. Jacobson is co-author of  “Kaizen: A Method of Process Improvement in the Emergency Department,” published in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine.
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