Friday, 24 August 2012

Book Review: Sustaining lean healthcare programme; a practical survival guide - Eaton & Phillip

Different book styles appeal differently, to different people. This one appealed to me because it is relatively short (94 pages plus appendices), well organised, uses bullet points and lists, checklists, diagrams and has some short examples to illustrate points.

Contents include:
  1. Where are you on your journey
  2. Why do only 24% succeed?
  3. Going Lean
  4. The top ten signs of a failing programme
  5. Creating a lean healthcare organisation
  6. Four key checklists
  7. The next eight things to do...
So do only 25% succeed? The authors suggest there are 8 critical success categories Communications. resources, involvement, training, implementation, compass, achievement and leadership (yes, these do spell "critical"). If you like wordplay then read the book and discover PRISM, CAD, VSERIERPE, FIT, FMEA etc. Not as bad as it looks in a list here. I found them a good description, and sometimes reminder, of basic principles.

The chapter on the top 10 signs of a failing program is easily read. For each reason there is an explanation of what you may experience, why it happens and then what you can do about it.

The four checklists you need? One each on people, success, tools and culture. Nothing really new to me, just nicely organised.

I particularly liked the Appendices which included key lean phrases and concepts (worth the price of the book for its organisation and simplicity), audit form, guide to common saying (fabulous!), and then a number of "how to" guides.

I know Mark Eaton has actually implemented lean in healthcare. This book is a demonstration that when written by someone who has got their hands dirty it turns into valuable desktop reference.

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