1st Edition

A3 Problem Solving for Healthcare A Practical Method for Eliminating Waste

By Cindy Jimmerson Copyright 2007
    by Productivity Press

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    The A3 process is a way to look with "new eyes" at a specific problem identified by direct observation or experience. It offers a structure that begins by always defining the issue through the eyes of the customer.

    In A3 Problem Solving for Healthcare Cindy Jimmerson explains an essential tool borrowed from the Toyota Production System, which is an extension of work identified with the well-known Value Stream Map. She offers an easy-to-learn problem-solving method that can be used in every aspect of healthcare to identify, understand, and improve processes that don't support workers in doing their good work. In this compelling book you get:

  • The expertise of a recognized industry expert in Lean principles
  • A practical, easy-to-use workbook
  • Concepts illustrated with numerous A3s in various stages of development
  • Explanation of how to extend the VSM philosophy to a more focused perspective
  • An extensive exploration of the A3 problem-solving tool in healthcare—the first book to do so
  • Through case studies and actual A3s, this book illustrates the simplicity and completeness of the A3 tool and its applications to regulatory documentation as well as activities of daily work.

    The Concepts Behind A3 Thinking
    A3 Thinking Throughout the Organization
    The A3 Document
    How the A3 fits with Value Stream Maps
    Many other uses of A3 problem solving and A3 Thinking
    Coaching A3 problem solving in a learning organization
    Sharing A3s and the associated learning
    Case Studies

    When applying Lean thinking successfully to healthcare, two things are of paramount importance: (1) Keeping it simple and (2) Providing an engaging route map for improvement. With A3 Problem Solving for Healthcare, you get the recipe for both. I thoroughly recommend it.
    Professor Peter Hines, Director, Lean Enterprise Research Centre, Cardiff University, UK

    Doing more, better, faster, and with less is our new reality. Cindy, because of her curiosity, creativity and clinical acumen, demonstrates that solutions originating outside of our healthcare enterprise can realize (previously) unrealized results.
    Professor Kathy Okland, RN, MPH, Clinical Applications Consultant, Herman Miller Healthcare

    What a great book to address a huge gap in healthcare process improvement! Having a source book to teach continuous change and illustrate waste reduction based on the Toyota Production System to busy healthcare practitioners has been sorely lacking until now. I have used the A3 in my hospital and it works! Clinical workers can see the entire project on one piece of paper as well as areas of obvious waste. Since the A3 clearly focuses on changing processes, the clinical workers are motivated to communicate across silos, successfully implement countermeasures, and look at the achieved target condition as the new current condition. The illustrations are superb and I loved all the practical examples. Great work Cindy!
    James Nesbitt, MD, MMM, Project Manager, Providence Alaska Medical Center

    This book is to be recommended for all hospitals that want to work with Lean and the A3 Problem Solving methodology. The book gives a great view of how The Toyota Production System can be applied to Healthcare all over the world. This book is written by a clinician for clinicians and is the book we have been waiting for.
    Inge Holck, General Manager, Lean Healthcare Europe