Monday, January 24, 2011

From Rouge with Lean

Bangkok Blog#1 - Written on Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011
By Michele Jordan
VP Quality Improvement and Transformation, RVHS

When we started our Lean journey at RVHS who would thought that a mere two years later, people half way around the world would be interested in hearing our story.  Yet here I am in Bangkok where I’ve been invited to speak at the Seminar on Regional Sharing on Lean in Health Care.

So how did this come about?  In late November I received a telephone call from an individual who works in the Modernization Branch of the Ontario government. He said that he had heard me speak about Rouge Valley and Lean at a conference in Toronto several months prior.  The Ontario government has links with governments in many other countries and he has been doing some work with the Asian Productivity Organization (APO). The APO has existed for 50 years. They have promoted Lean in the manufacturing sector for many years but recently decided to explore the potential to deploy Lean widely in the service sector, including health care. He said the APO was holding a conference on Lean in hospitals and the organization would be interested in having a Canadian speaker.  He recommended me and with the support of our CEO, I was pleased to accept the invitation. All expenses are completely covered by the APO so there is no cost to the hospital for participating in this wonderful educational event. 

The conference runs from Monday, January 24th to Friday January 28th.  The first two days are a standard conference format with some of the best Lean experts in Asia scheduled to speak.  The next two days will consist of site visits to three hospitals in Bangkok that have been participating in Lean since 2008.  Lean was introduced into these hospitals as a demonstration project sponsored by Thailand’s hospital accreditation body and by the APO. I will have a chance to see the improvements these hospitals have made and contribute to an evaluation of their progress.  From the advanced reading materials I received it looks like all hospitals have made impressive progress.

I will speak at the conference on Tuesday afternoon and Thursday night. The week promises to be very busy and a great educational opportunity.  I will update this blog daily to ensure that interested individuals at Rouge can share in the learnings.  So stay tuned.

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