countermeasures 1: Introduction to Countermeasures

imageThe journey to becoming a LEAN organization stars with hoshin kanri, setting the organization’s long term goals and driving them down into the organization of o the departmental level. Departments develop specific, measurable key performance indicators (KPI) that benchmark the departmental goals and track them daily on their gemba board.

If KPI are not being met, various LEAN tools are employed to determine the root cause of the problem. This can be the most difficult part of the process. Determining root cause is the key to eliminating waste or muda, otherwise we are just creating more muda. This is measured in rework and failed efforts in trying to solve the problem. Once the root cause has been determined, countermeasures must be developed to eliminate the root cause of the problem.

It is important that the organization standardizes on the problem solving models used throughout the organization. Standard work is a LEAN principle. When everyone uses the same processes, it makes solution easy to implement across organizations because people understand the processes used in developing and implementing the solution. It is important that everyone in the organization is familiar with these processes and feels empowered to use them.

There are two effective LEAN problem solving processes that can be implemented that will help us determine root cause, develop a countermeasure and ensure it is effective. The first is the PDCA four step model: Plan, Do, Check, Adjust. It is a simple process that delivers results.The second model is the A3. The A3 is generally used for more complex problems. It has the entire story of the problem and its solution on one page.

In subsequent articles we will go into each model in greater detail.

What Others Have Said…

Michael developed a LEAN program for our hospital. This involved training both managers and front line staff in LEAN and its application in every department. Two LEAN projects were conducted in an effort to reduce inventory. There was a reduction of $135,000 in pharmacy inventory and $200,000 reduction in OR inventory."
Richard E. D’Alberto, FACHE
President & Chief Executive Officer
Laurens County Hospital

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Lynn Yarbrough

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Rita Jones
CEO, Dundy County Hospital

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CEO, Artesian Valley Health System

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VP Clinical Services, Community Hospital

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Human Resource Coordinator
Brown County Regional Health Care
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Loewen Windows

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VP of Patient Services
Henry County Health Center

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Pacific Alliance Medical Center

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Stephen Stewart CEO
Artesian Valley Health System

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Community Memorial Healthcare

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CHI St. Alexius Health

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Lynne Yarbrough, OR Director
Johnson Regional Medical Center

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Providence Medical Center

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Government of Manitoba

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Providence Medical Center

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Canada Cases Ltd.

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Two Small Men with Big Hearts

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Investors Group

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Regional Director General
Citizenship & Immigration Canada

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HR Director
Pacific Alliance Medical Center

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One Legacy

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Case Manager, New Directions

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Personal Banker, CIBC

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