Lean Blog Interviews — 4: Jeff Liker, Lean Healthcare *

Show notes: https://www.leanblog.org/4

Remastered June 2021

This is the second part of my discussion (started in Episode #3) with Dr. Jeff Liker of the University of Michigan and his books, including “The Toyota Way.” This time, we focus on “lean healthcare” or the applications of lean in hospital settings, waste elimination, and problem solving.

Please visit www.leanblog.org for show notes, links and more information.

  • 1:28 Dr. Liker’s comments on lean healthcare at the University of Michigan and their 5-day certificate program
  • 2:03 Dr. Liker visited Toyota’s own hospital last year and they are just starting to implement lean and the “Toyota Way” at “Toyota Memorial Hospital
  • 2:53 “Hospitals are often a complete mess, lack of organization.”
  • 3:50 “A lot of a hospital is just a huge material flow system… and it’s done really badly.”
  • 5:08 Can also look at patient “value streams”
  • 5:15 Can eliminate 80-90% of the waste (waiting) from a patient perspective
  • 5:48 How the American Heart Association used the Toyota Product Development System
  • 6:28 Why doctors are afraid that “standardized work” might stifle their actual work, “it’s really about becoming a learning organization”
  • 7:48 How healthcare professionals can be open to principles (lean principles) rather than being told what to do
  • 9:33 Why Toyota has “mechanized the routine tasks” — to free people up for problem solving
  • 10:48 Workarounds and problem solving in healthcare
  • 13:03 How simple, visual tools helped
  • 13:28 What kind of consulting or advising does Dr. Liker do for those who might want to contact him? Keynote speeches, conferences, leadership workshops and vision setting. His firm, Optiprise, does more detailed consulting work.
  • 15:29 The Toyota Product Development System (with Jim Morgan) is a new book that came out a few months back. Currently working on a new book with David Meier (co-author of the Toyota Way Fieldbook), called Toyota Talent, about how Toyota develops their people. It is part of what will be a series of books. The book will come out next year.