Tuesday, June 28, 2016

An Interview with Samantha Parrett: NC State Vet Hospital's Dive Into Lean

I am especially pleased to present this edition of leanvets.com for a couple of reasons.

1)  It is the first podcast for me. Hopefully, others will follow in the future as subject material arises. I debated whether to present this blog as a written interview or as a phone interview. Mark Graban, my “partner in crime” for this thing, convinced me to try a podcast and said he would set it up, which he did. Thank you (again), Mark. (This is also being "simul-blogged" on Mark’s wonderful site, LeanBlog.org). I am so glad we did it this way. I want everyone to appreciate the enthusiasm and confidence about this Lean veterinary success that Samantha brought to the interview, which wouldn’t have been so apparent had we done this in a written, email format.

2) This references, to my knowledge, the first published report of the Lean philosophy and methodologies being applied in the veterinary practice arena. AND… it was very successful.  It has been very difficult trying to educate my profession on the merits of Lean. We’re a stubborn lot, at times. “It may work for building cars and even for human hospitals, but this is veterinary medicine. We’re different! Show me the proof it will work in our profession.”, everyone would say. Well, here’s at least one report that indicates veterinary medicine can benefit from Lean, the same as everyone else who has made the commitment to give it an honest trial.

Our guest today is Samantha Parrett. She is the Director of  Business & Administrative Services for North Carolina State Veterinary Hospital. I first came across NC State’s story, “NC State Vet College Dives Into Lean,” last summer while Mark and I were preparing our lecture for the 2016 TVMA Convention and Expo. I have been waiting eagerly for the opportunity to learn more ever since.

There are several points I would like to draw your attention to. 

First, is the enthusiasm and conviction that comes from trying Lean and experiencing the success that can be realized from Lean. 

Second, Sam mentions many of the Lean concepts and “tools” that we have tried to explain here at LeanVets.com. This demonstrates the “real world” applications of these methods. 

Thirdly, the problem of getting more of the surgeries performed during the normal business hours which had been unsuccessfully remedied for a number of years, finally found some success through Lean. 

And lastly, the positive effect the Lean mindset has had on the staff, doctors and, even, students at NC State Veterinary Hospitals. Lean works...even in veterinary medicine!

Thank you for listening. Here is Ms. Samantha Parrett’s interview.

To read a transcript of the interview,  click here.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The 3rd edition of Mark Graban's Lean Hospitals is now available

You all can breathe again! Mark Graban's Lean Hospitals, 3rd Edition is now available. The fact that there is a 3rd edition speaks volumes about the quality information found in this book and the respect it has garnered within the field of Lean Health care. 

My copy of the 1st Ed. of Lean Hospitals by Mark Graban

The picture to the left shows my copy of the first edition of Lean Hospitals.

As you can tell, it has been well read and shared with many interested staff and colleagues. I also have the 2nd edition, but it is a Kindle ebook and, therefore, impossible for me to show how much I have referenced it, also. 

My copy of the 3rd edition has been ordered. I'm going back to the actual book format (although it is also available from Kindle). I like being able to "dog ear" page corners, write notes in the margins and stick different colored Post-em notes to the pages to remind me of the great ideas and insights I get every time I read Lean Hospitals.

If you only get one book to read about Lean in general, and Lean Healthcare specifically, Mark Graban's Lean Hospital, 3rd Ed. is, by far, the book to get. Order your copy here!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Seeking General Questions: A Forum MVP

No, not "Most Valuable Player." MVP in this case stands for "Minimal Viable Product. It comes from the book The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. It is his entrepreneurial form of Lean.

The idea is to get the bare essence of your idea or product out to the public and then started iterating as rapidly as possible based on feedback from your customers. Get feedback, make changes, redeploy,  get feedback, etc. The faster you are able to do this, then the faster you learn what is valuable to your customer or not, and the farther ahead of any potential competitors you will be. Whoever gets to market with a viable product has the best chance at capturing market share. Of course, maintaining that lead is a different story, and this is where all of the rest of the Lean concepts come into play. This blog is my MVP into Lean and veterinary medicine on the Internet.

So, I am going to run a small experiment. I originally had a page of this blog devoted to a forum, but decided learning about and maintaining  both a blog and a forum was redundant and too much at once. So, I dropped the forum page.

It occurred to me, however, that, maybe, some of you might have other questions about Lean that don't necessarily fall neatly under one of the already posted articles. Therefore, this  post is my MVP for a forum, possibly, sometime in the future. If you have any  questions or comments about Lean, Lean in veterinary medicine or this blog, please send a comment to this post below. I and/or Mark Graban will respond ASAP.  If I get an indication that a forum would be of value, I will reconsider adding it to  the site.

Please use the  comment section below to ask any questions or leave any comments. Thanks for checking in!