Beyond Heroes: A Lean Management System for Healthcare

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ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, Apr 29, 2014 - Medical - 216 pages
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 Hospitals have long relied on the heroics of one brilliant nurse or doctor to save the day. Such heroics often result in temporary workarounds and quick fixes that leave not only patients and quality care at risk, but also increase costs. This is the story of an organization breaking that habit. Like a growing number of healthcare organizations around the world, ThedaCare, Inc. has been using lean thinking and the principles of the Toyota Production System to improve quality of care, reduce waste, and become more reliable. But lean thinking was incompatible with ThedaCare’s old top-down, hero-based system of management. Kim Barnas, former SVP of ThedaCare, shows us how she and her team created a management system that is stable and lean, to spur continuous improvement.

Beyond Heroes shows the reader, step by step, how ThedaCare teams developed the system, using the stories of its doctors, nurses and administrators to illustrate. The book explores each of the eight essential components of the lean system, from front-line problem solving with the scientific method to daily team huddles and creating standard work for leaders all the way to the top of an organization. Finally, the author introduces four executives from healthcare systems across North America who have implemented ThedaCare’s system and share the lessons they learned along the way.

Beyond Heroes is not just a call to action or an argument for a better healthcare system. It is a necessary roadmap through the rocky terrain ahead, one that healthcare leaders can customize to their special needs.


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DrowningOur Leaders 2 Finding Value in a Reverse Fishbone
Beginningatthe Front Line
Status Reports
The Huddle
Managingtothe Standard The Four 7 ProblemSolving 8 TransparencyVisual Management 9 Advisory Teams 10 Scorecards
Standard Workfor Leaders 12 BringingPhysicians into theFold 13 Futureat OurDoor 14 VariationsonCreatinga Lean Management System
Acknowledgments Appendix Glossary References andFurther Reading Index Endnote

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About the author (2014)

 Kim Barnas is former senior vice president of ThedaCare An enthusiastic supporter of ThedaCare’s lean initiative from the beginning, Kim helped lead the lean transformation of the first value streams. As she saw managers struggling to meet the demands of lean improvement projects while still doing their “regular work,” Kim led the teams that restructured ThedaCare’s leadership systems. The new system, which aligns management work with the lean initiative, has helped ThedaCare improve faster and more sustainably.

Kim earned a Masters of Science in Health Care Administration in 1996 from Cardinal Stritch University. She has three grown children and lives in Appleton, Wisconsin.

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