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CRC Press

Health Care

Book: Taking Improvement from the Assembly Line to Healthcare

The application of lean within the health care industry

Published: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 13:18

(CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL) -- According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, up to 98,000 deaths per year occur in U.S. hospitals as a result of adverse events. In other words, errors in hospitals cause more annual deaths than car accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS. With the health care system in such critical condition, lean is the best possible treatment.

Taking Improvement from the Assembly Line to Healthcare: The Application of Lean within the Healthcare Industry, by Ronald Bercaw (CRC Press, 2011) supplies step-by-step guidance on how to implement lean methods to achieve world-class improvement within the health care industry. Specific examples of this approach are provided in emergency medicine, diagnostic imaging, orthopedic clinics, general internal medicine, administration, and community care. Highlighting quality, safety, and financial evidence as to why immediate change is both possible and essential, the book provides a firm foundation in lean improvement and the tools used to deliver sustainable solutions. It presents client interviews and case studies from the United States and Canada to provide readers with the real-world understanding needed to embark and sustain a successful improvement journey.

With two decades of experience in industrial operations management, Bercaw details a proven approach for discovering waste and delivering improvement in health care organizations. He presents powerful insights gained through successful lean implementations in private industry, U.S. and Canadian health care systems, U.S. Pentagon business systems, U.S. Surgeon General assignments, and U.S. Navy, Army, and Air Force maintenance applications.

Providing a comprehensive view of improvement within and outside the walls of the hospital and clinic, the book reveals valuable lessons learned and mitigation strategies. It identifies and addresses the leadership challenges that are likely to emerge and includes explanations of the tools needed to achieve sustainable improvements in quality, patient safety, productivity, and staff development and engagement.



• Includes case studies from the U.S. and Canada that illustrate the practical application of lean improvement tools
• Presents client interviews that support the approach, results, and change to organizational culture
• Discusses improvement outside the four walls of the hospital and clinic, enhancing the transition of the patient from the hospital to the home
• Provides quality, safety, and financial reasons why immediate improvement is imperative
• Offers a step-by-step approach to start improving your organization

Table of contents

• Critical Condition: Why Change Is Needed Now
• Fundamentals of Improvement
• Tools for Improvement
• Case Studies
• Getting Started
• Leadership Lessons Learned

About Ronald Bercaw

Ronald Bercaw is the president of Breakthrough Horizons Ltd., a management consulting company specializing in world class improvement through the application of the Toyota Business System, more commonly known as lean. His lean management experience was gained through multiple enterprise transformations in different industries, including custom packaging, power reliability, electronics assembly, and test and measurement products.

Educated at Purdue University, he learned the details and disciplined applications of lean principles, habits, and tools from Shingijutsu and its first-generation disciples. Working in both the shop floor and board room, Bercaw has strived to remove waste from businesses through the involvement and ideas of the people doing the work.


About The Author

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CRC Press

CRC Press is a premier global publisher of science, technology, and medical resources. It offers unique, trusted content by expert authors, spreading knowledge and promoting discovery worldwide. Its aim is to broaden thinking and advance understanding in the sciences, providing researchers, academics, professionals, and students with the tools they need to share ideas and realize their potential. CRC Press is a member of Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.