Hospital management in Japan – is it Lean?

I’ve been told that most hospitals and healthcare organizations in Japan do not employ Lean management. Both foreigners who have done study trips to Japan and Japanese nationals have mentioned this to me as I was preparing for our move to Tokyo. If hospitals are employing some of the Lean principles, it is generally focused more on the tools, rather than deeper management practices. My friend Mark Graban has blogged about his experiences going to gemba in Japanese hospitals.

I am beginning to make connections with health systems in Japan and I look forward to making some visits and learning more first hand over this coming year.

Lean healthcare updates

[update from February 2016 – I’ve learned a lot about improvement and kaizen in healthcare over the past year while living in Japan. Some of my blogs about Lean in hospitals include:

Japan Gemba Visit: Lean in hospitals

Japan Conference for Healthcare: “Let’s use our strengths to improve hospitals”

Japan Gemba Visit: Tokyo hospital with strong commitment to quality improvement – Part 1 – Conversation with the President

Japan Gemba Visit: Tokyo hospital with strong commitment to quality improvement – Part 2 – Quality Committee Meeting

Japan Gemba Visit: Tokyo hospital with strong commitment to quality improvement – Part 3 – Data Transparency, Kaizen and PDCA

I will continue to post more as I learn about improvement and leadership in Japanese healthcare.]

What questions do you have?

What are you interested in learning about Japanese hospitals and health system? What questions would you like answered about Lean in healthcare?

Sign up to be notified of new posts

Don’t miss out on future posts about lean, leadership and life in Japan. You can sign up below to be notified when future posts are published.

And as always, please share your comments and reflections below!




Katie Anderson
About Katie Anderson 109 Articles
Lean thinker and coach. Passionate about developing people. Healthcare change agent. Living in California again after 18 months in Tokyo. Writing about lean and leadership.