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Book About “Lean Hospitals” Awarded Prestigious Shingo Prize

Author Mark Graban's book is the first to win the Shingo Prize for a book about the applications of "lean manufacturing" improvement methods to healthcare and hospitals.

Nashville, TN, May 13, 2009 --( Mark Graban, a healthcare consultant and author, has been awarded a Shingo Research and Professional Publication prize for his book "Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety and Employee Satisfaction.” The award was officially presented at a ceremony May 8 in Nashville, Tenn.

The prize recognizes and promotes research and writing regarding new knowledge and understanding of “lean manufacturing” principles and methods. Graban’s is the first Shingo Prize winning book that explores and documents the application of these “lean” practices, based on the Toyota Production System, to healthcare settings.

“This award is truly an honor and I am thrilled that it gives some recognition to the dedicated and caring hospital staff members, such as nurses, pharmacists, medical technologists, and physicians who are adopting these practices for providing better patient care,” said Graban at the awards ceremony. “Lean gives hospitals a method for meeting aggressive cost reduction and quality improvement goals that the public and our government are demanding,” he added.

The Shingo Prize is named for Japanese industrial engineer Shigeo Shingo, a world-renowned expert on improving manufacturing processes. The Prize was established in 1988 at Utah State University to promote awareness of Lean manufacturing and to recognize manufacturing excellence around the world. As a consultant, Graban has worked with hospital clients across North America, and in England, to train employees, executives and clinicians in Lean concepts, coaching project teams in implementing Lean methods and management systems.

In his best-selling book, Graban shares his years of experience implementing lean in various healthcare settings. The book documents actions that hospitals around the world are taking to engage employees in improving processes, resulting in reductions in cost and improvements in quality, patient safety, and employee morale.

Beverly B. Rogers, MD, Chief of Pathology, Children’s Medical Center, Dallas, Professor of Pathology, UT Southwestern Medical School said, “The lean approach to healthcare, including a strong emphasis on culture, is the best way to ensure that we care for our patients in the very best way possible. Lean Hospitals emphasizes not only the methodology, but also the cultural changes that must occur for sustainability – something often forgotten in change management. “

John S. Toussaint, MD, President/CEO ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value , said, “Mark Graban’s book has documented what is now happening in hospitals all across America as we learn to apply the Toyota Production System methodology to healthcare. This book lays out the nuts and bolts of the lean methodology and also describes the more difficult challenges, which have to do with managing change. Graban’s book is full of wins --- these are the same type of wins that are happening at ThedaCare every day. “

A popular speaker with healthcare audiences, he has published articles in such prestigious publications as LABMEDICINE and the 2007 and 2008 editions of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Lean Yearbook. Graban is also the founder of the popular Lean Blog ( that features articles and commentary about the application of lean methods in healthcare as well as podcasts with leaders and authors in the field ( and

The 280-page book is published by Productivity Press. For more information about the book, visit Graban is based in Keller, Texas.

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