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NEW POST from Dr. Paul DeChant: All Calm Broke Loose
A few years ago I read an article about the iconic cardiac surgeon, Dr. Michael DeBakey, making rounds at Methodist Hospital in Houston. Dr. DeBakey was moving quickly on the wards with the requisite cohort of fellows, residents, and students trying to keep up with him as he took the hospital by storm...To read on check out Dr. DeChant's latest blog post: http://bit.ly/1CKrfTJ

Highlights from Our 2015 Lean Practitioner’s Conference
Two weeks ago, we hosted our annual Lean Practitioner’s Conference – a two-day learning session filled with collaboration, teamwork and tips for leadership development. This year’s conference featured contributions from a diverse set of operational and managerial professionals who have transformed their organizations through Lean management. Highlights from this year’s presenters include:

  • Melania Parada and Luis Carlos Gomez, Termoencogibles (El Salvador) – First to present, Parada and Gomez set the conference tone, sharing Termoencogibles’ Lean Journey. The practitioners focused on the growth of the company’s Central American business as it relates to process improvement and employee development/engagement. Their eco-friendly approach to Lean management provided a unique and fresh perspective and was well received by attendees.
  • Joe Haselow and Natalie Versnik, Northwestern Mutual – In the conference’s second talk, attendees learned how Northwestern Mutual put an emphasis on “the people” by applying Lean methodology to their insurance/financial services infrastructure. Deep respect for their employees and commitment to the company proved crucial to the success of improvement the process.
  • Jody L. Cummings, Kaiser Permanente – Mr. Cummings’ presentation detailed Kaiser’s Lean journey with Simpler and the practice of creating a new, continuous improvement process.  Now commonly referred to as “The North Valley Way” among the medical group, this new process has become the structure for problem-solving and department enhancement, which helps the organization focus on quality patient care and effective population health management. 
In addition to the presentations and a Q&A Panel Discussion, attendees were also given the opportunity to engage in a handful of “Hands On Activities” where participants learned about the practice, purpose and applicability of Lean and the foundational Simpler Business System. Given the insightful, intellectual and thought-provoking presentations and discussions seen this year, we cannot wait to see what is in store for the 2016 Lean Practitioner’s Conference. We would like to thank everyone involved—from presenters to attendees—for their contributions to this year’s outstanding event! 

NEW POST from Dr. Paul DeChant: The Hamster Wheel - Shorthand for Burnout
As I delve deeper into the world of healthcare worker burnout, there is one image that appears too commonly.  Caregivers say they feel like they are a hamster running on a wheel, or express a desire to “get off the hamster wheel.” To read on, check out Dr. DeChant's latest blog post: http://bit.ly/1E5zLJe 

Dr. Paul DeChant’s New Blog Gives Readers A Fresh Outlook on the Benefits of Lean
Dr. Paul DeChant, Simpler’s Executive Director of Clinical Operations and Innovation, has taken on the role of blogger with the start of his new online series, “Returning Joy to Patient Care with Lean Transformation.” Drawing on more than 25 years of clinical and management experience, Dr. DeChant takes a step back to offer readers insights on the role Lean management plays in creating a healthy workplace culture that respects caregivers and enhances the patient experience. Dr. DeChant’s posts also provide practical leadership tips for implementing Lean systems. Check out Dr. DeChant’s most recent blog post here: http://pauldechantmd.com/.

Highlights from AME Jacksonville 2014
As a newbie to the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) and to Simpler, this past week I was once again humbled on my Lean journey. Having led the first five years of Sutter Gould Medical Foundation’s Lean transformation as its CEO, and having attended many health care conferences on Lean, I truthfully had low expectations for what I could learn from the manufacturing crowd that made up the lion’s share of 1,800 attendees at the AME conference last week. 

I’d like to share with you how wrong I was. 

My experience kicked off with the opening keynote by Erik Wahl. A business consultant, graffiti artist, and the author of the book “Un-Think – Rediscover Your Creative Genius,” Erik shared his personal story of success, failure and recovery that included rediscovering his creativity by taking up painting at a point in his life when he had nothing left to lose. Now in the business of creating disruptive strategies, he encouraged us all to take on the risks of creative problem-solving in a world that rewards standardization and conformity, to reignite our own artistry as leaders, and to use our imagination for breakthrough thinking. By the end of his inspirational presentation there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. 

Dr. Janet Lapp encouraged us to be bold of message and lead positively in times of change. She outlined key skills of lean leadership, including communicating with clarity in an emotionally impactful way, sharing your passion, having the courage to deal with people who are resistant to change, and being present with others in a way that makes them feel good about themselves when they are with you.  My favorite quotes from her include, “If you are not offending anyone as a leader, you are not making any progress at all,” and “There is no greater calling than living your life in service to others, giving hope to the people who work with you.” 

While I knew that manufacturing was ahead of healthcare in its adoption of Lean, I had no idea just how far ahead it was, particularly in the “softer” dimension of respect for people.  Every breakout session that I attended on the technical aspects of Lean included a clear message that the strategy only works effectively and sustainably when coupled with a deep respect for people.  Healthcare had a healthy presence in the breakouts, with sessions by Virginia Mason, Cleveland Clinic, Scripps, and my personal favorite - Sutter Gould Medical Foundation. 

The most compelling breakout was a panel of six CEO thought leaders on people-centric leadership (PCL). Led by Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry Wehmiller, a $2 billion company with 8,500 “team members”, we learned of a new vision for AME to drive a renaissance in manufacturing. These enlightened CEOs are dedicated to ensuring that their employees achieve their full human potential while working in a culture of safety, creativity and inspiration. The goal is not just extraordinary performance for their companies, but doing their part to address society’s problems, which are to some degree a result of people going home from their jobs each night unfulfilled, stressed out, and lacking the emotional and physical resilience to contribute positively to their families and communities.

Simon Sinek, author of “Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t,” concluded the conference with a moving presentation in which he explained the deep roots of PCL that are ingrained in our evolutionary makeup. The human species would not have survived for 40,000 years as hunter-gatherers if we were not hardwired by our neuro-hormonal systems to behave in ways that protected the tribe. The most important person in the tribe was the leader. A successful tribal leader was not only the strongest and smartest, but was required to live a life of self-sacrifice, caring for tribal members, confronting danger and assuming risk in order to protect the tribe. Today, we still recognize true leaders as those who will sacrifice their own interests to protect our well-being, and we reward them with our respect and admiration, even with our love. 

That is what the PCL movement is all about – supporting and developing leaders to have the courage to do the right thing even when it means great personal risk and self-sacrifice. Without such leadership our society suffers. We have seen plenty of self-centered CEOs through the course of the Great Recession.  The AME conference gave me renewed hope that a growing number of today’s business leaders have the courage to change our world for the better. 

Now, more than ever, we need courageous leaders in healthcare. We need leaders who are willing to put the interests of their caregivers and patients ahead of their own. AME and its commitment to PCL can inspire those of us in healthcare to confront our own fears and to truly become the self-sacrificing leaders that are required if we are going to fix the dysfunctional health care “system” that we have created. What a wonderful opportunity to once again learn from our Lean brethren in industry, the ones who first introduced us to Lean.

-Dr. Paul DeChant, executive director of Clinical Operations and Innovation

Pacesetting Consultancies JWA and Simpler Join Forces 
JWA, with its team of executives and consultants, becomes part of Simpler, a Truven Health Analytics company, to form the global leader in Lean transformation. JWA’s 15+ years of experience and industry-leading strength in Lean applications for hospitals, with particular expertise in pediatric and academic hospitals, round out Simpler’s capabilities. Truven Health Analytics welcomes the JWA team and clients to our company.  To learn more, visit: http://bit.ly/1zuAypx.

NYCHHC SVP & CFO Marlene Zurack to Present at Next Week’s MAP Event on Lean & Revenue Cycle Management
New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (NYCHHC; client) SVP and CFO Marlene Zurack will be speaking at the Healthcare Finance Management Association MAP Event (Nov. 2-4) next week! Taking place on Sunday, November 2 at 2:15 p.m. PT, Marlene’s session will discuss how NYCHHC leveraged Lean management to help improve the organization’s revenue cycle processes and increase revenue capture. By redesigning key processes, improving charge capture workflow and reducing overall cycle time, NYCHHC was able to capture $127 million in new annual revenues, among other achievements. For live updates during this year’s MAP Event, follow us on Twitter at @SimplerConsult. For additional conference details please visit: http://www.hfma.org/eventlanding/.

Out Soon! The Lean Prescription by Simpler Senior Advisor Dr. Patricia Gabow (Available For Pre-Order)

The Lean Prescription: Powerful Medicine for Our Ailing Healthcare System, co-authored by Simpler Senior Advisor and former Denver Health CEO Dr. Patricia Gabow and former Denver Health Director of Lean Systems Improvement Philip Goodman is available for pre-order and is scheduled for release later this month.

Using Denver Health’s Lean journey as a guide and benchmark, the book highlights Lean management as a proven solution for healthcare delivery improvement, serving as a ‘how-to’ for creating an integrated hospital environment that exudes efficiency and functionality to its physicians, staff and patients. Readers get a comprehensive look at Denver Health’s Lean transformation, which resulted in a savings of nearly $200 million in just seven years and earned the organization a Bronze Medallion Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence. Critics are already deeming The Lean Prescription “enormously helpful to anyone wanting to improve the efficiency and functioning of a healthcare enterprise.”
To learn more or to pre-order your copy, please visit: http://bit.ly/1yMNwzC and http://amzn.to/1rWNFKJ

Our CEO Symposium (Oct. 9-10) Comes to Chicago in Just Two Weeks
Only two short weeks until Simpler’s annual North American CEO Symposium at the Lowe’s Chicago O’Hare Hotel in Chicago, IL! We are excited to hear from our client speakers and nationally-recognized Lean management experts and learn how various hospitals and health systems are applying the Simpler Business System to reduce costs and improve patient care across the entire organization. This invaluable opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge on proven Lean principles and best practices will also feature four of the best and brightest in Lean management, including:

  • Len Nichols, PhD, of the Center for Health Policy Research and George Mason University
  • Lynn Bagge, MD, of The Permanente Medical Group
  • Steven Lampert, MD, Ron Kwon, MD, and Karen Dasilva, MD, of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates
  • Andrew Wampler and Genny Webb of Mountain States Health Alliance 
Along with exclusive networking opportunities with industry leaders, this symposium—taking place on October 9-10—offers attendees unique insight on what it means to truly be a Lean organization. We look forward to seeing you there!

Keynote Highlights from the 5th Annual Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit
I recently attended the 5th Annual Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit (June 4-5, 2014) in sunny Los Angeles, California, where I—along with other 600 members of the greater healthcare community—had the opportunity to engage with and learn from leaders from organizations that characterize exemplary Lean healthcare transformation. The Summit included insightful keynote presentations, interactive learning sessions, a dialogue-driven CEO panel, and timely workshops discussing a variety of important topics in healthcare, including strategies for achieving better patient outcomes efficiently and cost-effectively; successfully accessing, harnessing and analyzing available data; and permanently eliminating the waste plaguing healthcare delivery, among others.   Of the five keynote speeches that took place over the two-day event, three were given by representatives of ThedaCare, a Simpler client and Summit co-host. Here’s our summary and take on these well-delivered addresses:

  • John Toussaint, MD: As the first keynote speaker, Dr. John Toussaint, founder and CEO, ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, successfully opened the event with a well-received talk. Dr. Toussaint focused on five key discussion points giving very clear examples of “what good looks like.” One example included his own primary care wellness checkup, which took place earlier this year at ThedaCare. His visit was a standout example of efficiency and exemplary patient care. The visit totaled only 30 minutes (including a blood draw) the results of which were available in real-time thanks to lab processes taking only 14 minutes. Another example that Dr. Toussaint discussed was the new state-of-the-art surgery center at Seattle Children’s Bellevue site. The center, being built from scratch incorporating Lean principles, assures for a better patient flow without inefficient stops and starts in patient care and surgery flow restrictions. 
  • Kim Barnas: The former Senior Vice President of ThedaCare and faculty member at the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value was a keynote speaker on day two of the event. Barnas delivered a talk about her newly-released book titled, Beyond Heroes, A Lean Management System for Healthcare, providing the audience with tips for changing management behaviors and adapting systems to support Lean transformation. Barnas concluded her discussion with some advice: “Remember, those closest to the work see the problems and have the best opportunity to find countermeasures. Experiment with them [frontline workers] and encourage them to influence the experiments and develop the standards.”

  • John Shook: Delivering the closing keynote message for the event, the Chairman and CEO of the Lean Enterprise Institute John spoke about “four plus one” key questions enterprises must consider to achieve true transformation. The questions were as follows:
    •  What problem are we trying to solve?
    •  How are we going to do the work?
    •  How are we going to develop the people?
    •  What leadership behavior and management system do we need?
    •  What basic thinking and principles underlie this transformation?

While these questions constitute a framework for Lean transformation, they are also vital questions enterprises must repeatedly ask themselves in order to continuously improve in their Lean transformation. 

In sum, this year’s Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit was a jam-packed two days of Lean learning. Simpler remains a proud sponsor of the ThedaCare’s Center for Healthcare Value, and although it will be nearly a year until we reconvene in Dallas, we’re already looking forward to hearing from next year’s group of Lean visionaries at this valuable industry event.

–Steve Matteson, vice president, Healthcare

Simpler Consulting Joins Truven Health
Earlier this week we announced the acquisition of Simpler by Truven Health Analytics. I truly believe this will drive breakthrough performance improvement for our current and future clients.  Here’s more on that from Truven CEO Mike Boswood:

This week I welcomed Simpler Consulting to our company. This acquisition makes sense because Truven and Simpler will make a game-changing combination in the healthcare marketplace – driving growth and strengthening our ability to reduce the cost and improve the quality of healthcare. Our powerful analytic capabilities, in combination with Simpler’s consultative expertise and unique approach to operational improvement, will complement each other in the following ways:


  • Enable provision of end-to-end performance improvement services for both Truven and Simpler clients
  • Support further development of enterprise-wide engagement
  • Support international growth for both businesses

In addition to its healthcare practice, Simpler has a commercial division that provides performance improvement consulting services to a wide range of businesses in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. We expect this business to expand in the immediate future and over time will look for additional opportunities with both our Commercial and Government divisions.


The entire Simpler management team is remaining with the business under the leadership of CEO Marc Hafer. They bring with them vast experience of the Lean performance improvement process along with proprietary methodologies and tools that have been developed and successfully deployed over many years.


In the past year, our company has completed the last steps of the very complex process of standing up as an independent company. Now I look forward to a bright future where, with our new colleagues, we will be able to bring ever greater value to our customers.

Mike Boswood
President and CEO
Truven Health Analytics 
Marc Hafer, CEO & President, Simpler Consulting 

Simpler Consulting Looks Forward to the IHI National Forum (December 8-11)

This week, we’ll be in Orlando, Florida for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) 25th Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care (December 8-11). For more than 25 years, IHI has done an expectional job uniting thousands of leaders, visionaries and front-line practitioners from around the world. We would like to congratulate them on this excellent milestone.

Simpler is proud to support IHI and is a proud Gold Sponsor of this year's Annual Forum. We will be exhibiting at booth #306. Be sure to stop by for your copies of Simpler Healthcare, authored by CEO Marc Hafer, and The Little Book of Lean, authored by Global Director Chris Cooper.

Additionally, on Wednesday, December 11 from 10:45 to 11:15 a.m. in the Palms Foyer Classroom, Simpler Senior Lean Consultant Manager John Gallagher and Vice President Steve Matteson will also be hosting a workshop session on “Lean Leadership Immersion for Healthcare." The session will highlight the pivotal role leaders play in the Lean transformation of an entire organization. Gallagher and Matteson will provide a short list of essential attributes, behaviors and actions leaders must commit to in order to capture the hearts and minds of his or her employees. 

For updates and insights during the IHI Forum, follow us on Twitter at @SimplerConsult.
For more information on The 25th Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care, visit: http://www.ihi.org/offerings/Conferences/Forum2013/Pages/default.aspx

Simpler Helped Clients Achieve More Than $317 Million In ROI As A Result Of Lean Management Practices Through Q3 2013
Simpler Client ROI Index Shows Nearly $1.2 Billion in Customer Savings, Performance Improvements and Revenue Growth Over the Last Two Years

Simpler Consulting, L.P., a leading global management consulting firm, today announced that its clients worldwide achieved more than $317 million in cost savings through Lean management initiatives during the first three quarters of 2013, according to the Simpler Client Return on Investment (ROI) Index. This translates into a total of nearly $1.2 billion in client ROI since the start of the ROI Index in 2011.

The Simpler Client ROI Index measures the global business impact of implementing Lean management practices in total cost savings, performance improvements and revenue growth for Simpler Consulting clients across all sectors. The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), for example, achieved an ROI of more than $51.4 million year to date in Fiscal Year 2013 through its continued Lean management efforts.

"Since we started our Lean transformation in 2007, we have achieved $383 million in gross revenue and cost savings, and we continue to see this number grow," said Joanna Omi, Senior Vice President, Organizational Innovation and Efficiency at HHC. "Through Lean management, HHC has been able to effectively identify problem areas where improvements were needed and strategically address those issues quickly. It has been instrumental in helping us significantly streamline processes, cut costs, and most importantly, improve care for our patients."

Simpler Consulting uses Lean thinking to help businesses across the healthcare, commercial and public sectors achieve cultural and operational transformation. Hundreds of organizations today use its Simpler Business System® to improve processes, eliminate waste and reduce costs.

"As organizations are increasingly faced with shrinking budgets, regulatory changes and other challenges, it is more crucial than ever for businesses to re-examine their processes and bring a new level of innovation to their business operations," said Marc Hafer, CEO of Simpler Consulting. "When launching the ROI Index, we set the goal of helping our clients achieve more than $1 billion in ROI through Lean transformation over three years, and we are proud to have reached the goal ahead of schedule. It is truly a milestone for Simpler Consulting, and we look forward to helping our clients achieve financial savings, while improving quality, driving growth and increasing employee and customer satisfaction."

Simpler at Lean Collaborative Shared Learning Forum & 2013 Small and Rural Hospital Conference
Last week, Simpler attended the 2013 Small and Rural Hospital Conference(November 12-13) and its Lean Collaborative Shared Learning Forum (November 11) in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Sponsored by the North Carolina Hospital Association, the South Carolina Hospital Association and the Duke Endowment, the annual conference brings together hospital, health system, association and governmental employees as well as hospital and health system trustees to discuss the latest issues unique to small and rural health care executives.

During the Lean Collaborative Shared Learning forum, President and CEO of Atrius Health and Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates Dr. Gene Lindsey spoke at length about the fundamentals of Lean, the IHI Triple Aim (which focuses on improving patient experience, improving population health and reducing costs) and standard work for Lean leadership.

As part of his presentation, Dr. Lindsey referred to the world we live in as “VUCA” – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous. He argued, however, that we must replace volatility with Vision, uncertainty with Understanding, complexity with Clarity and ambiguity with Action.

In healthcare, Lean is helping to do just that, but observation is key to making an industry-wide impact and achieving Triple Aim goals. In order to so, as Dr. Lindsey urged, hospitals and health systems must “have their doors open wide so that people can come and see what good looks like.”

AME Toronto 2013 – Ingersoll Rand’s Lean Journey
This week, a number of us from Simpler had the pleasure of attending the Associate for Manufacturing Excellence’s AME Toronto 2013 conference – a five-day event chock-full of Lean thought leaders and innovators, including Jim Womack (Lean Enterprise Institute), Dan Jones (Lean Enterprise Academy U.K.), John Shook (Lean Enterprise Institute) and Mike Rother (Lean Enterprise Institute).

Simpler client Ingersoll Rand (IR)’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Global Integrated Supply Chain Todd Wyman had the wonderful opportunity of presenting alongside Jim Womack during his keynote address on Tuesday, October 22. During his presentation, Wyman graciously credited Simpler as a crucial partner in support of the IR Lean journey.

When IR began their Lean transformation, they compared themselves in 16 metrics against a competitive set of companies. The initial assessment was humbling with IR being in the bottom quartile in most metrics. Today, they have improved every metric. They are no longer in the bottom quartile in any metric. They are now in the top in three, and their shareholder return is in the 90th percentile.

Wyman also discussed the role George Koenigsaecker played in advising the IR team to begin their journey with Hoshin planning (or, policy deployment). Following Koenigsaecker’s guidance, the team created three simple strategies that are the framework for their policy today: 1) growth through innovation, 2) operational excellence and 3) building a winning culture.

Relative to building a winning culture, IR's employee engagement scores had been fairly flat for a number of years. Now, three years into the transformation and having reached critical mass in deployment, engagement jumped eight points in a single year.

IR is going beyond simply going to the Gemba (or, the frontlines) – the company is "leading from the Gemba." Senior leaders are being trained and coached to ask important “why” and “where” questions, essentially leading teams to solve their own problems.

In just three years, Ingersoll Rand has made incredible gains. We look forward to what the next three years bring.

-        Gregg  Miner, Simpler Account Manager for Ingersoll Rand

For more on IR’s results and Lean journey, consult their 2012 annual report at

Simpler Europe's Practitioners Conference October 1-2

This week, Simpler Europe is hosting its Practitioners Conference on Tuesday, October 1 through Wednesday, October 2 at the Hotel Melia Sky in Barcelona.
Geared towards Lean core team members, value stream owners, department managers, directors and operations managers, the conference offers attendees the unique opportunity to share lessons learned, collaborate on new ideas and methods, and enhance their own improvement and leadership capabilities. 
We're excited for a talented and experienced cast of conference speakers, including:

Mihaela Ariseanu, Project Manager, Roche Diagnostics International

Michelle Ashford, Assistant Director, Manufacturing Development (Operations) for Blood Supply, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT)

 Angela Rook, Business Support and Development Director, Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)

Steve Trollone
, Senior Task Force Manager and Chartered Engineer, Johnson Controls International

We look forward to seeing you there. 

Simpler North America's Eighth Annual CEO Symposium October 10-11
Our annual North American CEO Symposium is back for its eighth straight year next month in Chicago. The event will be hosted at the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare from Thursday, October 10 through Friday, October 11.

The CEO Symposium offers Simpler Consulting client executives the exclusive opportunity to hear first-hand from national Lean leaders, to learn how other organizations are applying the Lean and Simpler Business System and to network with other industry leaders. The theme of this year’s Symposium is executive coaching with a focus on leader standard work.

This year’s featured expert speakers include:

    Victoria (Tori) Bayless, Chief Executive Officer, Anne Arundel Medical Center
    Patricia Gabow, MD, MACP, Senior Advisor, Simpler Consulting
    Candace Jennings, Senior Vice President, Mountain States Health Alliance
    Brian Good, Chief Operating Officer, Denver Water
    George Palma, MD, Medical Director, Simpler Consulting
    Dan Robinson, Chief Executive Officer (Interim), Colorado Health Medical Group

Clients can register for the CEO Symposium at http://simpler.com/register/index.html?event_id=18. We look forward to seeing you there!

Simpler Vice President Speaks at Columbia University

Simpler’s Vice President of Healthcare Steve Matteson was invited to speak at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health this past month. Matteson was welcomed by Adjunct Assistant Professor Arthur A. Gianelli, MA, MBA, MPH as a guest lecturer on June 8, 2013 for a class of 33 mid-career students enrolled in his Hospital Management course.

Matteson’s two-hour lecture was the first of a four-part series outlining the major focus areas in hospital management, including optimizing hospital operations, hospital integration strategies, emergency preparedness, stakeholder management and improving hospital revenue cycle through Lean. During his talk on hospital operations optimization, Matteson educated students on reducing waste in hospitals and healthcare systems through the use Lean management. 

“It was an honor to share my Lean experiences with such an eager and talented group of students,” said Matteson. “The very fact that Lean management has been integrated into the Hospital Management curriculum at Columbia proves its value in the industry, and I am honored to play a small part in educating some of the best and brightest of tomorrow’s healthcare leaders.”

Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates Opens New Concord Practice

Simpler Consulting would like to congratulate Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates for the grand opening of its new Concord ambulatory building on June 27. The building is a state-of-the-art prototype of the next generation of ambulatory care facilities designed to bring all of the benefit of Lean design to innovative practice. The Concord practice of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates is the second of three new multi-specialty buildings, including the Dedham Medical Associates building in Norwood and the soon-to-be constructed South Shore Medical Center building in Norwell.

By using the 2P Process and Lean skills acquired through previous projects and transformations, the Concord practice allowed its staff and patients to design the facility of their dreams. More than a hundred people had touched the process in Lean work groups and planning meetings by the time the ribbon was cut last week. The result is truly a work of art that is in harmony with practice flow and creates an inviting and healing atmosphere where patients and staff can work together to keep patients healthy.

Congratulations to all involved on this wonderful accomplishment. We look forward to seeing the future of ambulatory care in action at the Concord practice.

We’ll Be at This Year’s NAPH Annual Conference This Week (June 19-21)
Simpler is excited to attend and sponsor the National Association of Public Hospitals (NAPH) Annual Conference being held June 19-21 2013, in Hollywood, Florida. Through dynamic keynote addresses and interactive education sessions, this three-day event will focus critical issues facing patients and their communities and strategizing innovative ways of delivering high quality healthcare, with a theme of "Mission-Drive Strategy-Focused."   Tom Goetter, senior vice president, Simpler Consulting, will introduce NAPH keynote speaker Ezekiel Emanuel. Emanuel—who holds a joint position at the Wharton School and the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and is a founding chair at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health—will deliver his keynote address on June 20 at 8:00 a.m., during which he will discuss the opportunity to reduce industry spending by reevaluating low-value medical services.   We look forward to being a part of an event that brings tremendous value to the healthcare industry, uniting leaders at the forefront of reform, innovation and the relentless improvement of patient care.   Hope to see you there!

Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit 2013 Hits Florida
Simpler is excited to attend the 4th Annual Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit being held June 5-6, 2013, in Orlando, Florida. The Lean Enterprise Institute and ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value are co-hosting the conference, which is set to explore new frontiers in Lean healthcare thinking.

The conference will include thought provoking keynotes, learning sessions, networking and plenty of chances for discussion. The two-day event will also feature a CEO panel on June 6 at 8:15 a.m. ET to discuss the value of Lean transformation events. The Lean leaders participating in the panel include Simpler client New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) CEO Alan Aviles, St. Mary’s General Hospital (Canada) President Don Shilton and Simpler Board of Directors member George Koenigsaecker.

The summit will not only highlight the current advancements in Lean healthcare, but it also promises discussions between attendees, Simpler and other senior leaders. We look forward to answering questions and collaborating with other Lean thinkers from across the country. We look forward to seeing you there!

Chairman and CEO of Ingersoll Rand Michael Lamach to Speak at Shingo Prize Conference
Simpler client Ingersoll Rand Chairman and CEO Michael Lamach will present a keynote address at the 25thInternational Shingo Prize Conference, being held Monday, May 6 through Friday, May 10 at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo, Utah. The Shingo Prize Conference features keynote addresses from CEOs of leading worldwide organizations as well as comprehensive learning sessions from a variety of industry leaders, authors and Shingo Prize recipients.

Taking place on Thursday, May 9 at 10:30 a.m., Lamach's session “Transforming an Enterprise - Our Path to Premier Performance
” will give an overview of Ingersoll Rand’s journey to increase the company’s operating capability in the areas of innovation and operational excellence. Using Lamach’s leadership and a value stream approach – one of the main principles of Lean –  Ingersoll Rand is transforming into an integrated operating company and is well on its way to achieving premier performance. Lamach will provide first-hand account of the challenges he faces while coaching and building an engaged organization committed to customer satisfaction, achieving financial and productivity goals and growing profitably.

Simpler Account Manager for Ingersoll Rand Gregg Miner is personally proud of Lamach and the company’s accomplishments.

“With Mike's diligent focus on employee engagement and improving the customer experience, the transformation sites continue to achieve year over year improvements,” said Miner. “With a total of 19 sites now in their third year of formal transformation, there is significant evidence of a sustainable, cultural transformation.”

For more information on Michael Lamach and his Shingo Prize Conference session, please visit: http://shingoprize.org/2013Conference/2013speakers.html#Lamach

Join Anne Arundel Medical Center for its 2013 Fundraising Gala on April 27

This Saturday, April 27, 2013, Simpler Consulting client Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) Foundation will be holding its 2013 Annual Fundraising Gala from 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. (Midnight) at the Hyatt Regency in Baltimore, Maryland. “Sparkle” is the theme for this year’s Spring Gala, and festivities include dinner, live music, dancing and a live, silent auction. The Gala will celebrate AAMC’s cancer programs, including the Geaton and JoAnn DeCesaris Cancer Institute, which treats over 1,500 patients a day. As part of AAMC’s commitment to delivering the best medical care possible, funds raised will touch the lives of cancer patients from across the greater Maryland region. The Hyatt Regency Baltimore is located at:

                300 Light Street
                Baltimore, Maryland

For more information on the Gala, please call AAMC Special Events Officer Kendra Smith Houghton at (443) 481-4739, or email her at khoughton@aahs.org.

We hope to see you there for this great cause!

Simpler Consulting To Host Annual Practitioners Conference Feb. 28 – Mar. 1, 2013

Simpler Consulting is hosting its annual Practitioners Conference Thursday, Feb. 28 through Friday, Mar. 1 at the Embassy Suites Dallas - DFW Outdoor World in Dallas, Texas.

At the conference, Simpler client practitioners will share lessons learned, collaborate on new ideas and enhance their own improvement and leadership capabilities. The Practitioners Conference is geared towards Lean core team members, value stream owners, department managers and directors and operations managers.

The conference will feature exciting talks and presentations from Lean practitioners at New York City Health & Hospitals Corporation, Denver Water, University of Colorado Health and Anne Arundel Health System.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Management and Organization Practices Survey - A U.S. Census Bureau Survey
This month, the U.S. Census Bureau released findings from its first ever survey on management practices in America, tiled “Management and Organization Practices Survey.”  Conducted by  researchers from Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the London School of Economics and the National Science Foundation, the survey polled 30,000 of the 50,000 manufacturing plants surveyed in the 2010 Annual Survey of Manufacturers with 16 multiple choice questions on their management practices.

The 16 questions pertaining to management covered three main areas: performance monitoring, target setting and incentives based in part on the Lean management principles of continuous observation, assessment and improvement. Companies polled were then given a “structured management” score based on these questions. The results of the survey conclude that:

1) Every 10% increase in the survey’s management score (i.e., higher score = greater structure) correlates with a 13.6% increase in productivity.

2) Organizations with higher management scores are more profitable. Additionally, organizations that saw an improvement in management scores between 2005 and 2010 experienced faster rises in profitability.

3)  18.3% of establishments adopt at least 75% of structured management practices, while 27.3% adopt less than 50% of structured management practices.  
Overall, the survey concludes that structured management is closely related to better performance. Organizations that adopt rigid practices for performance monitoring, target setting and incentives experience higher productivity and profitability rates as well as higher rates of innovation and more rapid employment growth.

 “What this survey illustrates is both the need for and prominence of structured management in the U.S. manufacturing industry,” said Marc Hafer, CEO, Simpler Consulting. “As part of an organization rooted in structure and supporting an environment that fosters continuous improvement to existing structure, this survey further authenticates Simpler’s opportunity to  help these organization put in place a management system that improves performance, productivity, profitability and innovation at all levels.”

For more on the survey, please visit: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/economic_surveys/cb13-03.html or http://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2013/CES-WP-13-01.pdf

Warner Robins Air Logistic Complex Recognized with Highest Air Force Award for Excellence
Simpler Consulting would like to congratulate our client Warner Robins Air Logistic Complex and its C-130 Programmed Depot Maintenance team for earning the Robert T. Mason Excellence Award for its work on the C-130 aircraft. Named for Robert T. Mason, former assistant deputy undersecretary of defense for maintenance policy, programs and resources, the award is presented annually to recognize outstanding achievements in weapon system and military equipment maintenance.  

Using Lean practices, the team returned 64 aircraft to operating units to increase C-130 aircraft availability, reduced in-progress work from 41 to 36 aircraft, cut flow days from 102 to 69 days and achieved 100% on-time delivery. Despite increased operational and repair demands on the aging C-130 fleet, the team also reduced customer-reported deficiencies by 60 percent by the end of the fiscal year.

  Additionally, the Programmed Depot Maintenance team expanded the use of dedicated crews, incorporated high-velocity maintenance concepts into the main production line and consolidated scattered production facilities, freeing up valuable space for additional workloads.   The award was presented by the Pentagon's Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Maintenance Policy and Programs, John Johns.  
For more information, please visit: http://www.robins.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123332092

Simpler to Attend the IHI Annual Forum on Quality Improvement in Healthcare Dec. 9-12
Are you fleeing the winter weather for sunny Florida next week? Simpler is heading to Orlando December 9-12 for the 24th Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Healthcare. Organized by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the event will bring healthcare leaders from all over the country to discuss and form innovative change for the healthcare industry.

Make sure to join us for our "Lean Leadership Immersion for Healthcare" on Wednesday from 10:45-11:15am in the presentation room at the entrance to the exhibit hall.  Lean tools are only part of the solution to transformation, this program will highlight the top 10 essential things leaders should know and answer questions such as: What do you know about the pivotal role leaders play in getting beyond use of the tools and changing the behavior of the entire organization? What is the essential short list of things leaders do to make the difference in capturing the hearts and minds of all employees?"

Come to the session or stop by booth #413 to chat! Look forward to seeing you in Florida.

Lean Healthcare takes Center Stage at Associate for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) Chicago 2012

Lean guru and former Denver Health CEO Dr. Patricia Gabow was the keynote speaker at AME Chicago 2012 this week in Chicago. Under her leadership, Dr. Gabow helped Denver Health achieve more than $150 million in financial benefit through Lean management. To learn more about Denver Health’s lean transformation, check out this video segment, featured on PBS: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/jan-june11/denverhealth_06-30.html

The conference also featured 40 workshops and 60 practitioner-to-practitioner presentations designed for attendees to learn directly from their peers who have lived through real world, industry-related experiences. AME is dedicated to improving the competitiveness of organizations by sharing and learning, while understanding the ultimate goal is to achieve the highest return possible on investment of time and effort.   For more information about Dr. Gabow’s participation, check out this video: http://www.ameconference.org/2012-chicago/videos/promo/gabow-keynote-speaker.html    To learn more about AME Chicago 2012, please visit: http://www.ameconference.org/

Why Healthcare Reform is a Misnomer

It's high political season, and once again healthcare reform is front and center. While most of the discussion is centered around enacting or rescinding the Affordable Care Act, neither outcome alone will solve the problems facing healthcare in this country. True healthcare reform necessitates a more comprehensive approach.

Healthcare reform in the political context is about payment reform, or the notion that changing the criteria for reimbursement by insurers will alter provider behaviors and therefore improve patient outcomes: a dangerous and superficial assumption. Lean management concepts teach us that the insurer role in the healthcare value stream is tangential and largely non-value adding. As Lean thinkers examine flows within healthcare value streams, insurers and their reimbursements are more often disruptive, costly and wasteful. The list of wastes imposed by payers is lengthy and includes adding time to processes, slowing care delivery, incentivizing over-production, increasing the risk for defects of process and outcomes and interrupting the flow of critical information.

A Lean examination of the entire healthcare delivery value stream would lead in the right direction for root cause solutions to the healthcare crisis facing this country. A Lean healthcare approach focuses on evaluating patient needs to define value, and considers all stakeholders’ concerns in the multitude of care pathways. Such a thoughtful examination would uncover opportunities for innovation and transformation, not reform on the margins (like payment reform) that will not solve the difficult challenges of improving outcomes while producing significant reductions in the actual cost of care delivery.

According to a report from the Institute of Medicine, there is more than $750 billion in healthcare waste each year, but opportunity to save more than $463 billion dollars in the next 10 years. From our experience hospitals using Lean practices can save millions of dollars annually. Simpler client Denver Health, for example, documented cost savings and revenue gains from Leanefforts totaling $150 million in a seven-year period (2005 – 2012) and boasts the lowest mortality rate of any academic medical center in the country. If more of the 5,700 U.S. healthcare systems adopted Lean, certainly we would move closer to, if not surpass, IOM’s projected potential for cost savings, not to mention achieve significant improvements to patient care.

What the U.S. needs is true healthcare innovation, and fortunately there are a growing number of Lean-thinking healthcare leaders who are leading the way by transforming their entire healthcare delivery value stream for the betterment of patients, families and providers and achieving significantly lower costs with measurably better outcomes for all. We at Simpler Consulting have had the privilege to work with more than 80 brave and determined healthcare organizations willing to do the hard work of rethinking their approaches to better serve patient communities. Results include achieving 95% patient satisfaction with the care received, hundreds of millions of dollars saved, and most importantly, creating cultures that seek improvement continuously.

To learn more, check out the stories of our clients and their Lean transformations at http://www.simpler.com/success-stories/.

To read more about what others are saying about the need to eliminate waste to cut costs and improve outcomes, check out IOM’s interactive infographics and report from their three-part workshop series to explore opportunities to reduce health care costs without compromising health status, quality of care, or innovation: http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2011/The-Healthcare-Imperative.

- Marc Hafer, CEO, Simpler Consulting


Leaders from Manufacturing, Healthcare and Public Sector Discuss BusinessStrategies to Improve Quality and Drive Bottom Line Results

CHICAGO—October 11, 2012Simpler® Consulting L.P., a leading global management consulting firm, today announced it will be holding its seventh annual CEO Symposium on October 11-12, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The CEO Symposium will bring together C-level executives from the manufacturing, healthcare and public sectors to share successes and challenges in conducting business in today’s global economic environment. All participants are at various phases of Lean transformations, an enterprise-wide journey that trains organizations to rethink business strategies, operation models and build a culture that values quality and efficiency to identify and remove all waste from the organization to generate breakthrough business results.


“With the uncertainty of an election year and in the midst of an ever-changing economic environment, leaders must be equipped with tools that can generate business results despite external obstacles and challenges,” said Marc Hafer, CEO of Simpler Consulting. “The CEO Symposium is truly a unique forum that brings together executives across all industries to discover ways to mobilize their organizations to maximize all resources and processes, generating significant business results.”


Participants will hear from executives who are at various stages of a cultural transformation. This year’s featured speakers include:


  • Antonio Martin, executive vice president and corporate chief operating officer, New York City Health & Hospitals Corporation
  • Ray Pittard, president of Thermo King© North America, part of the family of brands of Ingersoll Rand
  • Orest (Orry) Fiume, author of the 2004 Shingo Prize winning book Real Numbers: Management Accounting in a Lean Organization
  • David Masterson, chief executive officer of Sampson Regional Medical Center
  • George Koenigsaecker, Lean expert and author of Leading the Lean Enterprise Transformation

The CEO Symposium is a closed forum for Simpler Consulting clients. To learn more, visit www.simpler.com.

  About Simpler Consulting, L.P. Simpler Consulting, L.P. is a leading global management consulting firm that helps companies improve processes to stimulate business-impacting results. Unlike traditional management consulting firms that specialize in developing strategy but fall short on execution, Simpler plays an active role helping clients create an organizational culture that continuously seeks out opportunities to make improvements. With its proprietary Simpler Business System®, Simpler Sensei have delivered the fastest and most enduring Lean transformations at more than 80 healthcare networks around the world. To learn more, visit http://www.simpler.com.

Simpler CEO Marc Hafer to Present at The Healthcare Roundtable for Chief Executive Officers
On Friday, October 5, 2012 in Scottsdale, Ariz., Simpler CEO Marc Hafer will join 30 industry leading not-for-profit hospitals, health centers and consultants for a semi-annual CEO roundtable event, hosted by The Healthcare Roundtable. Designed by the attendees, the agenda will include case studies, presentations and open discussion sessions to explore critical challenges and solutions facing the healthcare industry as well as today’s headlines as they pertain to the healthcare executives and their responsibilities. Members will also discuss visions of future trends and issues.   Hafer will present on how Lean management can help healthcare systems cut costs and improve patient care. Specifically, Hafer will discuss: Lean management transformation systems, the transformation continuum, the role of leaders in Lean transformation, the impact of culture and essential elements for a Lean transformation plan. He will also discuss  Mountain States Health Alliance and their Lean transformation.   To learn more about The Healthcare Roundtable, please visit: http://www.healthcareroundtable.com/

For more information about Mountain States Health Alliance, please visit: http://www.msha.com/

Simpler Consulting Recognizes Dr. Patricia Gabow for a Career of Leadership Excellence
Simpler Consulting, L.P., a leading global management consulting firm, would like to recognize Denver Health CEO Dr. Patricia Gabow for nearly 40 years of relentless dedication to improving the healthcare industry. Dr. Gabow, who is retiring from her position as CEO of Denver Health, leaves behind a legacy of true leadership and healthcare reform.   “Leadership is about more than creating a vision and setting strategic direction; it’s about unlocking the potential of a group of people and inspiring them to achieve incredible results,” said Marc Hafer, CEO of Simpler Consulting and author of the Simpler Healthcare book. “Dr. Gabow has not only inspired Denver Health to believe that change is possible, but her efforts to reform and innovate healthcare have motivated leaders across the globe to emulate the incredible transformation that Denver Health has embarked on to improve patient care.”   In 2005, Dr. Gabow challenged the clinicians, administration and staff at Denver Health that they could do better than industry standards and embarked on their Lean transformation journey to set new national standards for healthcare delivery. Lean organizations involve their members on the front lines to create a problem-solving culture, teaching them how to identify wasteful process steps, followed by problem solving tools to redefine care in the eyes of the patient. The results have been incredible. Denver Health has battled soaring healthcare costs, an uncertain future for reform, declining reimbursements and a growing uninsured population and has still managed to emerge as an innovative hub for transforming patient care and reducing costs.   Under Dr. Gabow’s direction, Denver Health has experienced a financial benefit of more than $135 million through Lean, and—more importantly—it has transformed the health system and delivery quality for the patients its serves. In fact, Dr. Gabow attributes its Lean healthcare initiative to saving at least 213 lives in 2011 alone.    Denver Health has also earned several awards for its efforts to improve patient care, including a 2012 Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services Health Care Innovation Award and the 2011 Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence Shingo Bronze Medallion. Additionally, this year the National Committee for Quality Assurance awarded Dr. Gabow with the 2012 Health Quality Award for her pioneering use of Lean management in healthcare.   “Simpler Consulting would like to congratulate Dr. Gabow on her achievements to transform the delivery of care,” said Steve Matteson, Vice President, Healthcare at Simpler Consulting. “She will surely be missed, but has left a lasting impact that will remain well beyond her tenure at Denver Health.”   Click the download link below to watch a video from Marc Hafer thanking Dr. Gabow for her dedicated service.  

Denver Health Systems Hosts "Implementing Lean in the Lab" Webinar on 8/15/12
Join Director of Lean Systems Improvement Phil Goodman and Laboratory Manager Linda Kaufman of Denver Health Systems as they discuss the processes, advantages and benefits of implementing Lean in their laboratory. You’ll learn how Denver Health implemented an enterprise-wide Lean program and "black belt" leadership initiative to save $100 million and avoid hundreds of hospital employee layoffs since its inception in 2004. The discussion will also include Six Sigma concepts, the use of 2P Lean tools for implementing new equipment, the A3 for reporting quality for bench mark improvements and an example of interdepartmental cooperation using Lean events.   The webinar will take place at 3:00 p.m. EST on August 15. To register, please visit Executive Insight/ ADVANCE for Administrators of the Laboratory’s website at: http://bit.ly/OMPMPD.

Simpler Consulting Announces Q2 2012 Results from Simpler Client Return on Investment Index 
Simpler Consulting today announced Simpler clients worldwide experienced a return on investment (ROI) of more than $87 million in the second quarter of 2012, totaling $213 million saved year-to-date. The Simpler Client ROI Index is a measurement tool to quantify the business-impacting results, including total savings and revenue growth that organizations achieve through applying The Simpler Business System.®  The System, based on the tenets of Lean management, is a powerful systematic approach that trains organizations to rethink business strategies, operation models and build a culture that values quality and efficiency.

“Lean management is not a quick fix, it is a cultural transformation. Our clients are often surprised not only how quickly they start seeing results, but how their early success helps to set the stage for even greater improvements,” said Marc Hafer, CEO of Simpler Consulting. “Through the use of the Simpler Business System, commercial, public and healthcare organizations worldwide are cutting costs and adding green dollars to the bottom line, without sacrificing quality.”

Launched in January 2012, the Simpler Client ROI Index is issued quarterly and is based on a culmination of returns reported by Simpler’s clients. Given the nature of client reporting structures as well where clients are along their Lean journey, the number of clients who report performance improvements, savings and revenue growth

NYC Health & Hospitals Corporation President Alan Aviles Receives Healthcare Leaders of NY Award of Distinction
We would like to congratulate Simpler client NYCHHC President Alan D. Aviles on receiving the Healthcare Leader of New York Award of Distinction. Since 1989, this award has been given annually to a healthcare executive who has demonstrated a sustained and outstanding contribution to the advancement of healthcare administration as a profession. Recipients of this award are often recognized for their roles as exceptional mentors to ensure that the next generation of executives is prepared to meet the challenges of the future, and Aviles is no exception.  Aviles proudly and graciously accepted this special recognition at the Health Leaders of New York’s Annual Gala on June 20, 2012 at the Bronx Botanical Gardens.  For more information about NYCHHC and Alan D. Aviles, please visit their website at:  http://on.nyc.gov/8aGX7k

New Simpler Healthcare Book Details The Use Of Lean Management To Transform Patient Care
Simpler is excited to announce the release of a new book, Simpler HealthcareSM, authored by CEO Marc S. Hafer. The book details how six hospitals across the globe — Alder Hey Children's Foundation Trust in Liverpool, England; Denver Health; New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation; Royal Bolton Hospital in England; St. Joseph's Health System in Orange, Calif.; and Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore — have applied Lean healthcare concepts to transform operations, improve patient outcomes, reduce costs and increase patient and staff satisfaction. For a sneak preview of the book, check out this video from Hafer: http://bit.ly/MprEyV To obtain your own copy of Simpler Healthcare, please visit: http://amzn.to/Mm15i0

Simpler Consulting CEO Marc Hafer Comments on U.S. Supreme Court Ruling to Uphold Healthcare Insurance Mandate
Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to uphold the individual mandate for healthcare insurance. While this is certainly big news, it does not change the fact that the U.S. healthcare system is fraught with waste and hospitals and health systems need to look for solutions to improve patient care and control costs. The good news is that forward-thinking hospitals have already begun to make real change and nurses, clinicians and hospital leaders are on the front lines eliminating waste and achieving true reform. To learn more, check out the case examples in our Success Stories section of the website.

Simpler's Chris Cooper and Board Member George Koenigsaecker Speak at Lean Enterprise Research Centre Conference
Simpler is proud to attend the 2012 Lean Enterprise Research Centre  (LERC) Conference in Cardiff, Wales (June 25-26), sponsored by Welsh Government. Simpler Board Member George Koenigsaecker will keynote the U.K.’s leading Lean conference, focusing on leadership lessons learned and key success factors in Lean transformation. Simpler's Chris Cooper will also present the Simpler Design System on Day One of the conference — one of over a dozen presentations from the industry’s leading professionals. Be sure to follow the @Simpler Twitter handle for updates from the show.   For more information, please visit the event website: http://bit.ly/Lsh4uj

Simpler Heads to San Francisco for NAPH Conference
Simpler Health is proud to sponsor the 2012 National Association of Public Hospital’s Annual Conference (June 20-22) in San Francisco. The conference will highlight crucial issues facing patients and communities in today’s healthcare industry, with three days full of keynotes, interactive learning sessions, and meetings that cover an array of topics from patient engagement and safety to current health legislation. Simpler clients Denver Health and New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation will also be attending the conference. Make sure to follow the @SimplerConsult Twitter handle for updates from the show.   For more information, please visit NAPH’s event page at: http://bit.ly/NixYdg.

Simpler Attends the 2012 Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit
Simpler Consulting is proud to attend the 2012 Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit (June 6-7) in Minneapolis, MN, co-sponsored by Healthcare Value Network and Lean Enterprise Institute. From industry-leading keynote speakers and CEO panel discussions to learning sessions and workshops, the Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit promises two full days of lean learning and expertise. It is a great turn out this year. ThedaCare, New York City Health Hospital Corporation, Beth Israel Deaconess and Medical Center, Advocate Health Care, Harvard Vanguard Medical and 16 other Simpler clients are presenting or in attendance. Stop by our booth at the Summit, located just outside the main ballroom. For more information, please visit the event web page at: http://bit.ly/yB35tY

Warner Robins Air Logistics Center Wins DoD Financial Management Award
We would like to congratulate our client Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Georgia for earning the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller Financial Management Award for 2011. The award recognizes the center’s financial management team for developing new processes, such as Lean management, that include cost in its decision making. At Simpler, we commend the men and women at the center for their tremendous dedication and hard work. To learn more, we invite you to read the press release announcing this achievement. Post by Tony Jonas

Simpler Attends the 2012 ASQ World Conference
Simpler Consulting is proud to attend the 2012 ASQ World Conference (May 21-23) in Anaheim, California. Simpler is supporting the AME booth, Booth 323. Several Simpler clients are presenting or in attendance including City of Hope, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Kaiser, St. Joseph Healthcare System and Harvard Vanguard. For more information please check out the ASQ web site at wcqi.asq.org.

Simpler Consulting Board Member George Koenigsaeker to Speak at Canadian Manufacturing Conference
Simpler Consulting is pleased to announce Board Member George Koenigsaeker will be among an elite group of keynote speakers at the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) 2012 National LEAN Conference, June 4 – 7, 2012, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Simpler Consulting Announces Q1 Results from Simpler ClientReturn on Investment Index
Simpler Consulting, L.P., today announced Simpler clients worldwide experienced a return on investment (ROI) of nearly $93 million in the first quarter of 2012. 


Simpler Consulting Partners with National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems
Simpler Consulting is pleased to announce our partnership with the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH) as we continue to support the work of America's safety net hospitals.

Harvard Vanguard Breaks Ground on New Medical Building
Simpler congratulates Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates on the groundbreaking of a new state-of-the-art facility for its Concord Hillside practice.

Tinker Air Force Base Wins Dr. James G. Roche Sustainment Excellence Award
Simpler client Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma earned the 2011 Dr. James G. Roche Sustainment Excellence Award as it demonstrated the most improved performance in fleet sustainment for fiscal year 2011.

Simpler Consulting Expands Lean Management Services in India to Support Healthcare and Commercial Industries
Simpler Consulting announces the formation of a new entity, Simpler Consulting India, to expand the company's geographic footprint to bring Lean management services to healthcare and manufacturing organizations in India. In addition, Simpler has signed an exclusive agreement with the Quality Council of India (QCI) to provide accredited Lean healthcare training and experience to the Health Division of QCI.
Read Press Release

Sharing the Success of Lean with Hospitals in South Carolina
Simpler's Jim Little discusses Lean at the South Carolina Hospital Association.

Dr. Patricia Gabow of Denver Health Recognized with Health Quality Award
The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recently announced the recipients of its Health Quality Award and among those being recognized is Dr. Patricia Gabow, CEO of Denver Health. The award is given to individuals and organizations that highlight the need for—and drive—health care improvement. Simpler has been working with Dr. Gabow since Denver Health began its Lean healthcare journey in 2008, and we are excited the NCQA is recognizing her commitment to cutting costs and improving patient care. We congratulate Dr. Gabow on being honored with the Health Quality Award for her continued dedication to ensuring the residents of Denver receive the highest quality care.

Simpler's Fifth Annual Practitioner's Conference
Last week we held our fifth annual Practitioner’s Conference in Dallas, Texas, where Lean transformation practitioners joined together to share lessons learned, collaborate on new ideas and enhance their own improvement and leadership capabilities.

Lundbeck Receives Shingo Silver Medallion
Simpler congratulate's our client, Lundbeck, for being honored with a Shingo Silver Medallion.

Atrius Health and ThedaCare named Pioneer ACOs
Simpler Consulting would like to congratulate Atrius Health and ThedaCare, who were chosen amongst the 32 healthcare organizations that will be participating in the Pioneer ACO program.

Defining Leadership: Dr. Patricia Gabow, CEO of Denver Health
Modern Healthcare has reported that Dr. Patricia Gabow, CEO of Denver Health will retire September 1, 2012. The announcement of Dr. Gabow's retirement began a mental synthesis about the qualities of a leader and the impact an individual can have on an industry.

Denver Health Recognized as Top Academic Medical Center in U.S.
Simpler client Denver Health has been recognized by the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) as one of the highest-performing academic medical centers in the United States for its excellence in supply chain management.

Why I Wrote The Little Book of Lean
There are two reasons why I wrote The Little Book of Lean. The first comes directly through my client work at Simpler Consulting. I had become increasingly frustrated with the lack of good “back to basics” books to introduce people to the way of lean thinking. As my clients came to me for resources that taught the basics of lean management, they often found literature that focused too heavily on lean manufacturing. The second reason I wrote the book came out of a late night conversation a few years back with my friend, Steven J. Spear...

Denver Health Honored by City and County of Denver
We would like to congratulate Simpler client Denver Health for being recognized with a proclamation for operational excellence by the City and County of Denver. Denver Health CEO Dr. Patricia Gabow received the proclamation this week from the mayor and city council, honoring the organization for its lean achievements as a model safety net hospital for the City and County of Denver, the Rocky Mountain region and the entire nation. The proclamation highlights that Denver Health is “hailed as one of the first health care organizations in the world to apply Lean in a patient care setting” and that it “recently realized a cost benefit of over $100 million in financial benefits as a direct result of its Lean efforts.” Kudos to everyone at Denver Health for sustaining a lean culture while also providing quality healthcare to Denver’s citizens.

Denver Health Video Highlights Shingo Recognition
Simpler recently congratulated our client Denver Health for being honored with a Shingo Bronze Medallion for its commitment to adopting healthcare lean management practices across the enterprise. Since Denver Health received the award this past March, the hospital has created an innovative video that highlights the great results from its lean transformation journey which involved more than 1,300 Denver Health employees who were dedicated to achieving operational excellence. We invite you to see how Denver Health realized nearly $88 million in financial benefit over the past five years while also saving money, jobs and most importantly, the lives of those they serve.

Lean Management Helps Nurses get back to Nursing
May is National Nurses Month. In honor of the dedicated individuals who have devoted their lives to others, Steve Matteson, Vice President and General Manager, Client Services of Simpler HealthcareSM shares two case examples of how lean management is helping nurses get back to what they love, caring for the patient.

Simpler Point of View: A Lesson from the Royal Wedding
By Al Martyn, Public Sector, Business Development Leader at Simpler® Congratulations to the Royal couple who were married last week on Friday 29th April in London. After the excitement of Friday, I was listening to the news and a political commentator had highlighted that a member of the public had suggested that “we should get those who ran the wedding to run the public services in the UK” – why? – “because it all seemed to flow and run so well.”   To someone in Simpler, the natural use of the word "flow," to describe a process that runs well and without a "hitch," is always a delight. It reflects on a key Lean principle – to ensure each process flows.   One of the keys to make process “flow” is to have a great "standard work." What is standard work? It’s the best known way to do something, very importantly it's written down and it is continuously improved based on lessons learned by the people who do the work. The Royal wedding’s pageantry is so precise because it’s the product of decades of continuous improvement on the "standard work."   Just imagine if we had decades of standard work improvement for hospital A&Es, police custody suites, or collecting the bins, optimising to make the process flow!   One other thing about standard work is that it is not just the process but precise timing associated with process steps that should be considered – so when Ms. Middleton left the hotel at 9 minutes to 11 o'clock do you think someone had been developing some new standard work for that hotel? You bet!   Many congrats again to newlyweds!  

Modern Healthcare names St. Joseph Health System CEO to Top 25 Women in Healthcare List
Simpler congratulates Deborah Proctor, president and CEO of St. Joseph Health System in Orange, Calif., for being named one of the Top 25 Women in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare.

Simpler Consulting Brings Management Enterprise to Canada
Simpler Consulting, L.P., a leading global management consulting firm, today announced a new entity, Simpler Consulting Canada, ULC, to expand the Company's geographic footprint and continue its commitment of bringing lean management techniques to health systems and organizations in Canada.

NATO's Route to Transformation-A Lesson for All
During a recent discussion I had with NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) in Brussels, a familiar challenge was highlighted - how an organisation can reduce costs and at the same time maximise its efficiency to deliver a service, and in this case, one that was better fitted to the 21st century rather than what the Cold War had demanded. This remains an area of focus for NATO, one that it is still working on. The NATO representative spoke about “outdated processes” and “wasteful processes” in the workplace and the need to replace them with more efficient ones. He highlighted the challenges in delivering change to 28 nations with different cultures and politics. This transformation work perhaps presents the acute “breaking down the boundary waste” that was discussed in a recent blog post.

Earth Month: Getting Lean and Green
In celebration of Earth Month, we'd like to highlight the synergy between green and lean initiatives. The two strategies often intersect as they share an overarching common goal - to eliminate as much waste as possible to help improve efficiency and reduce costs. Lean management helps organizations cut costs and improve customer satisfaction by reducing waste or anything that does not add value to the process. Although Lean doesn't focus soley on achieving environmental benefits, organizations can adopt the tools from a lean continuous improvement program to help reduce environmental waste. Take our client Denver Health, for example. To meet the needs of a growing patient population, its Park Hill clinic, originally a temporary modular space, was transformed into a state-of-the-art clinic. By getting Lean and going green, Denver Health kept building costs low while still providing the local community with high-quality healthcare services and an energy-efficient green building. Click here to read more about how Denver Health used lean management and green efforts to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Lean Transformation from the Voice of a Customer
I recently participated in a leadership session where Paul Boissier, CEO of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), briefed the Metropolitan Police executive team who are responsible for their Information Services Directorate on lean transformation.  RNLI and the Metropolitan Police are both Simpler clients and the purpose of the session was to offer Paul’s perspective and insights on leading a successful lean transformation. Simpler has worked with Paul on two successful transformations; previously with the Royal Navy and more recently with the RNLI. (Download the whitepaper to learn more)

Denver Health Leads the Way in Eliminating Medical Mistakes
Last week, a new study published in the Health Affairs journal revealed medical errors may be 10 times higher than previously estimated—meaning one in three Americans will fall victim to a medical mistake during a hospital stay. Yesterday, our client Dr. Patricia Gabow, chief executive officer of Denver Health was featured in a story on PBS News Hour, which highlighted the hospital as a leader in reducing medical mistakes and information. As noted in the article, “Denver Health has one of the lowest complication rates for blood clots in the leg of any hospital in the country and saves $15,000 a month by using a highly standardized process to identify people at risk for the condition.” We commend Dr. Gabow and Denver Health for their dedication to improve patient care. This March, Denver Health was recently recognized as the first health care facility to be awarded with a Shingo Bronze Medallion by the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence.

The ACO Model of the Future?
Simpler client Atrius Health is featured in this article as an example of an accountable-care organization. Accountable Care Organizations are promoted in the health reform law as a way to improve care and reduce costs. Some of their results with Lean and quality improvement are described.
Wall Street Journal, Avery Johnson, 03/28/2011

Client Denver Health Receives Shingo Bronze Medallion
We would like to congratulate our client Denver Health for being honored with a Shingo Bronze Medallion for its commitment to adopting lean management practices across the enterprise. This marks the first time a healthcare facility has been recognized by the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence. Denver Health has achieved great results from its lean transformation journey – realizing nearly $89 million in financial benefit in the past five years. For more information, click here to read the press release.

Simpler's Fourth Annual Practitioners Conference
Last week we held our fourth annual Practitioners Conference in Dallas, Texas, where 23 Lean transformation practitioners of our clients gathered to share lessons learned, collaborate on new ideas and enhance their own improvement and leadership capabilities. Click on link below to learn more.

Scottish Policing
I recently attended the Policing Scotland Summit, which took place in February. The event was created to debate the future of policing in Scotland as it faces some of the most radical changes in its history. Tasked with reducing spending by 10 percent in real terms over the next four years following the Comprehensive Spending Review, the Scottish Government launched a consultation to reduce the number of Scotland’s police forces. Among the options of reform is a regional structure or a single nationwide force. Click on the link below to learn more.

What is the 'Big Society' Project and What will it Mean to the Public Sector?
Many of you may have heard by now of David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’  project. Cameron’s initiative is to create a ‘stronger, bigger society’ to build a more responsible Britain by opening government contracts. From a lean perspective Cameron seems to be trying to get the ‘customer or citizen’ involved in the process of change, but to me it is no different from JFK’s statement: “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” Rather than a plea to citizens to get involved and help make a difference, which is leaving him open to the criticism that he actually wants to citizens to do the work post cuts, why not have a structured programme of improvement? For example, the Simpler Business System, where a natural part of the system is to get people (in this case the public sector workers and the public) involved, enables change that is actually created by the people for themselves. Cameron’s approach needs to change; he would gain a lot of volunteers if only there was an advertisement that said: “We want to improve refuse removal / police in your area / hospital in your area by up to 50% - do you want to help?” Success and real-life examples breed success – I think that’s what Cameron really wants. So my advice to achieve the change in society that Cameron wants is to use a proven change method to get people involved.  Method is crucial to a successful plan and whilst the vision is right, all we need is a proven method that involves both public sector staff and the public. Al Martyn is Public Sector, Business Development Leader at Simpler®. For more information, email him at martyna@simpler.com.

IndustryWeek Hall of Fame Winner George Koenigsaecker's New Book Gets a Thumbs Up from the Publication
In the February 9 edition of IndustryWeek, Writer Adrienne Selko reviews the second edition of Simpler Consulting Board Member and Senior Vice President George Koenigsaecker’s book “Leading the Lean Enterprise Transformation.” The review highlights Koenigsaecker’s emphasis on the culture of Lean and the four metrics that need to be consistently tracked – quality improvement, delivery and lead time, cost and productivity improvement, and human development. To read the full review, click here.

Simpler Design SystemSM - Bringing More Profitable Products to Market Faster
Introducing a new, systematic approach to new product development that will reduce your time to by 50%. Learn how Elekta applies the Simpler Design System to pharma.
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Lean Design in Healthcare at the IHI National Forum
Simpler HealthcareSM is proud to sponsor the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) National Forum. Join Simpler’s Steve Matteson for the "Lean Design" session on Sunday, December 5th at the Forum to learn how a community hospital used Lean to create the ideal practice clinic facility, bringing it from an idea on paper to reality. The creative use of space, people, equipment, and supplies is groundbreaking. See you at the Forum.
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Simpler® Celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week
According to a recent report released from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, despite the recession U.S. Entrepreneurship in 2009 rose to a 14 year high. As new entrepreneurs grow their business, they often get overwhelmed with the number of email correspondences, meetings and calls. As we celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week, Tim Whitmore, vice president and general manager of Commercial Sector at Simpler North America, shares insight into how entrepreneurs can prioritize and keep their business running smoothly. 

Simpler Consulting®, L.P. George Koenigsaecker Inducted into IndustryWeek 2010 Manufacturing Hall of Fame
Simpler Consulting today announced Simpler Consulting Board Member and lean industry veteran George Koenigsaecker was inducted into IndustryWeek’s 2010 Manufacturing Hall of Fame for his years of experience leading successful lean management transformations across a multitude of organizations. Drawing from his many years of experience leading lean transformations, Koenigsaecker wrote Leading the Lean Enterprise Transformation which was published in 2009 by Productivity Press and provides real-world examples of the powerful results lean transformation enables including faster productivity, improved quality, cost savings and increased employee satisfaction. George Koenigsaecker will also be delivering the keynote “Leading the Lean Enterprise Transformation” at the Association for Manufacturing’s (AME) 2010 annual meeting taking place this week at the Baltimore Convention Center. Additionally, Steve Matteson, vice president and general manager of client services at Simpler HealthcareSM, will host the first-ever healthcare specific workshop, “Lean Design in Healthcare” at AME.

High Velocity Maintenance - The New Solution for MRO
Lee Alves and Brian Keeling of Simpler® explain the applications of Lean in support of MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) and Fleet Management in the new white paper "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Synchronizing the maintenance cycle for a faster fix." Learn about the savings generated from a completely new MRO approach at United States Air Force’s Warner Robins Air Logistics Center.

Institute of Medicine Looks to Simpler's® Marc Hafer for Ideas for Cost Savings in Healthcare
Dr. Pierre Young uses Simpler’s Marc Hafer as an expert in discussing inefficiency and waste in delivered services.
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Lean Thinking in Lean Times for the NHS
Simpler’s Chris Lloyd encourages the NHS Trusts to review ways to cut waste, not people. Read more about this in the Clinical Services Journal.
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