Ergonomics done right.®
May 15th, 2008

Enterprise Transformation: Extending Lean beyond tools and events

Thanks to Ralph Bernstein at Lean Insider for his post detailing the improvement efforts going on at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Parkersburg, West Virginia, owned by Signature Hospital Corporation.

Kudos to St. Joseph’s for such an effective demonstration of the power of incremental improvement. Too often the "increments" are over looked or looked over in favor of the bigger bang – but it’s the roll-up effect of the little things that is so powerful.

We know how good ergonomics engineering can provide dramatic improvements in takt time by attacking wasted motion even in baby steps. The real challenge, now that the demonstration is successful, is to take it system-wide; as we say – Fix Once, Repeat Many (FORM).

The reason it becomes the greater challenge is that Kaizen events on the factory or the patient floor and improvement projects conducted by experts are not enough. To sustain the gains, Signature must move the game from tools and projects to enterprise transformation. That will necessitate organizational leadership that supports and drives enterprise behaviors – and engages all staff in the cause.

We hope they are successful!