The Ultimate Kaizen Resource for Healthcare
By Mark Graban & Joseph E. Swartz
CRC Press, $59.95, 374 pages
Mark Graban and Joe Swartz’s Healthcare Kaizen focuses on Kaizen or small, continuous improvements. Given how thick the book was, and how little I knew about Kaizen, I was prepared to be overwhelmed. But apparently, Kaizen and this book are not a linear subject. The authors actually encourage the readers to jump around. Even though Kaizen might not be linear, the book was organized in a systematic fashion with chapter one giving the reader core concepts, definitions and some simple examples. Chapter two gave a 25 year history of improvements in the healthcare arena. Chapters three and four continue to give examples from hospitals all over the world. Section Two of the book shares actual examples for the entire process from finding an improvement need to documenting to recognizing the person or persons that suggested the improvement. Section three addresses the leadership component of any Kaizen effort. Essentially, this book has something for everyone from the front line person, middle manager up to executives for an organization-wide Kaizen program.
The beauty of Healthcare Kaizen is that once you read the book, you realize anyone can implement a Kaizen improvement. The magnificence of Kaizen is its simplicity. This book offers hundreds of ideas, examples, case studies and completed forms. Each chapter ends with a conclusion and discussion questions coupled with a long list of resources. Many ideas can be implemented in a day. Hospitals just need to create an environment where employees feel engaged in improving their workplace, communicate the need and change. Kaizen starts with the individual but can impact an entire organization in profound ways and this book is the catalyst for getting started all the way to implementation.
Reviewed by Seniye Groff