Lean Blog by Jay Arthur

Latest "Lean" Posts

COVID-19 Paramedic Dashboard 2020

One of our QI Macros users offered to share his dashboard of paramedic response during the Seattle area response to COVID-19. His team transported the first COVID patient in America. As you can see, turnaround times (TAT) at the hospital averaged 30 minutes and temperatures spiked in transported patients.

Posted by Jay Arthur in healthcare, Jay Arthur Blog, Lean, QI Macros.

How Crisis Affects U.S. Healthcare Workers

Back in 2002, thousands of miles from New York City, I worked with a hospital in Oregon. I was amazed to find that they had staffing data from 9/11 about the up and down for that month. As you can see in this X Chart, absenteeism (understaffing) was lower for each of the four following days, 9/12-15, and then recovered. I have noticed this pattern with COVID-19 as well: a week of paralysis followed by a return to normal. Unfortunately, healthcare workers haven’t had the luxury of downtime when dealing with the new crisis.

So don’t be surprised if crisis and uncertainty cause you or someone you know to hit the pause button.

Posted by Jay Arthur in healthcare, Jay Arthur Blog, Lean, QI Macros.

Learn Data Analysis for Problem Solving

Out of Work? Need a job? Want to become indispensable to your employer?

Learn the data analysis skills for problem solving (a.k.a. Lean Six Sigma). Do it now. It’s Free!

Click here to get started: www.lssyb.com

“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and the QI Macros [software].

“I don’t know about you, but right now, I’m staying home because of the directives around COVID-19. I know there’s a lot of people out there who have been displaced and are out of work, and now might be a good time to learn a new skill. I can tell you: being able to do some data analysis that results in problem solving is a skill that every, every, every business wants.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Data Mining, healthcare, Improvement Insights, Lean, Manufacturing, QI Macros, Service, Six Sigma.

Agile Lean Healthcare Now

Coronavirus means that we can’t wait weeks for training and months for improvements. Healthcare has to embrace Agile Lean Six Sigma to handle an infection that could overwhelm existing care facilities. (Hint: This has nothing to do with doctors and nurses, but everything to do with the patient.) Here’s how to do it:

“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals” and the QI Macros [software]. You know, I think we’re at this place in time where we can no longer wait two to four weeks for training and four to six to twelve months for projects to get done.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, healthcare, Jay Arthur Blog, Lean, Six Sigma.

Snowthrower Delivery Debacle

Ordered a snowthrower as a wedding gift for two day delivery. Eight days later it was delivered to someone’s home (not mine). How can we mistake-proof these kinds of problems?

“One of the guys in my office is getting married this June and so I got him an early wedding gift: a snow thrower. So I ordered it from Amazon. I ordered it on Monday, it was supposed to arrive on Wednesday; two days shipping on Prime.

“Then on Wednesday I get this notice that said, “Well, it’s sort of delayed.” So then it said maybe Friday, but of course on Friday it wasn’t here, and they tried to deliver it on Saturday, of course, which is when we’re closed.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Improvement Insights, Jay Arthur Blog, Lean, Six Sigma.

Reducing Blood Sample Over-Collection

At the ASQ Lean Six Sigma Conference in Phoenix this week, Katie Castree with Accumen presented an excellent improvement story about reducing over-collection of blood tubes in a hospital. Here’s the story:

Baseline: 317 extra tubes of blood collected every day (115,705/year)

93% of tubes were not used (clinicians thought it was much higher and resisted changing)

Most of the unused tubes were collected in the Emergency Department (focus on the ED, not the entire hospital).

After the countermeasure (not collecting tubes unnecessarily), extra tubes dropped from 317 per day to 118 per day saving $12,335/year and 0.27 FTEs. Over time, extra tubes dropped to only 84 per day, a 74% reduction.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, healthcare, Jay Arthur Blog, QI Macros, Six Sigma.

Nobody Wants to Look Bad

Nobody wants to look bad, which can make it impossible to make improvements. Here’s why:

“One of the things I’ve learned in all these years working in Quality Improvement is nobody, but nobody, wants to look bad. With the recent coronavirus [outbreak], the doctor who found that and [leaked news] out to the world, the Chinese government tried to shut him down, tried to keep that bit of information inside because they didn’t want to look bad.

“Well, this isn’t just a Chinese or Asian thing – saving face. In any business you walk into, somebody is in charge of how things are working and they’re in charge of trying to make it better, faster, cheaper.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Improvement Insights, Lean, Six Sigma.

IHI Trillion Dollar Checkbook Webinar, 1 of 3

Webinar 1 of 3: February 12, 2020

More than 60 people signed up for this webinar, with Jay Arthur doing an overview on the IHI’s goal, and how implementing Agile Lean Six Sigma can speed an organization’s improvement process and better sustain results.


Posted by Jay Arthur in healthcare, Webinar.

I Only Get Paid to Do It the First Time

How big is your Fix-it Factory?

“I talked to a contractor at a building site and he told me, “I get paid to do it the first time, but I don’t get paid to do it the second time (to rework things),” so he’s very much focused on doing it right the first time.

“I think we’d all say that, but if you look at most companies, they all have a giant Fix-it Factory, fixing this, that and the other thing. Those people are being paid to fix things that shouldn’t have been broken to begin with. Or to trash the things they can’t fix.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Improvement Insights, Lean, QI Macros.

4/8/20 Healthcare Webinar: How to Achieve the IHI’s $500 Billion Goal

I’ll be hosting the 3nd webinar in this series on Wednesday, April 8th at 1:00PM MDT

We’ll go into more specifics how your organization can find what’s causing you the most problems, how to determine who should be on the improvement team, and how to ensure that the countermeasures you enacted are both reducing waste and errors and that the improvement doesn’t slide back down. 

What:  FREE Webinar 3 of 3: How to Achieve the IHI’s $500 Billion Goal.

When: Wednesday, April 8th, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. MDT

Where:  Join online from wherever you are.

How:  Register for the webinar HERE.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, healthcare, Improvement Insights, Lean, QI Macros, Six Sigma, Webinar.