Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Definitions

Glossary terms, history, people and definitions about Lean and Six Sigma

John Toussaint

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John Touissant is one of the foremost figures in the adoption of lean principles in healthcare, specifically at ThedaCare in Wisconsin, which is a mid-sized, not for profit healthcare provider with hospitals, clinics and nursing homes.

ThedaCare has 20,000 hospital admissions each year. Toussaint describes its lean journey (2002-2009) in the book On The Mend – Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry.

In 2008, he stepped down as CEO, and founded the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value (TCCHV). This is an education/consultancy/network-organization, which aims to spread knowledge of lean health care.

He was the founding chair of the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality and of the Wisconsin Health Information Organization, as well as the non-executive leader of the Partnership for Healthcare Payment Reform in Wisconsin. He has participated in many Institute of Medicine subcommittees, including most recently the Value Incentives Learning Collaborative and was co-author of “The CEO Checklist for High Value Healthcare.”

Dr. Toussaint’s healthcare improvement work using Toyota Production System principles has been well documented in articles published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Health Affairs, the Harvard Business Review Blog, and Frontiers in Health Management.

Dr. Toussaint has been recognized for his work in transforming healthcare by organizations such as The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME), which inducted him into its 2012 Hall of Fame, and the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, which hosts the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence. Dr. Toussaint was named a lifetime member of the Shingo Academy in 2011.

His groundbreaking first book, On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry, was awarded the 2012 Shingo Research and Publication Award. It reveals how healthcare can be fundamentally improved at the point of delivery using the proven principles of lean management. His second book, Potent Medicine: The Collaborative Cure for Healthcare, describes the three core elements necessary to transform healthcare and deliver better value: delivery of care designed around the patient; transparency of treatment quality and cost; and payment for outcomes.

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