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SHS Suggested Readings and References

SHS is proud to introduce a list of more than 400 suggested readings and references. This list has been developed by Charlie Protzman, managing member of the Business Improvement Group LLC, over the course of his career. He shares it voluntarily for the SHS membership, and we thank him for this invaluable contribution.

The list can be downloaded via this link. It is sorted alphabetically by title within categories. Naturally, SHS envisions the list growing over time, with input from the entire SHS membership. Please submit your thoughts, reviews, or any additions to Ron McDade. Enjoy!

Why Hospitals Should Fly by John Nance
A fictional tour of a best-in-class hospital in Denver, Colorado. St. Michael’s Hospital, as it’s called in the book, is one of the safest and most highly regarded hospitals in the nation. The premise of the book revolves around a former executive director taking a week-long tour of the facility to figure out why the place holds its prestigious reputation, and to see if he is able to absorb some of their practices along the way. Read More 

On the Mend
Part case study, part manifesto, On the Mend written by both a doctor and a healthcare executive uses real-life anecdotes and the logic of lean thinking to make a convincing argument that a revolutionary new kind of healthcare — lean healthcare — is urgently needed and eminently doable. Read more 

Beyond Heroes: A Lean Management System for Healthcare
Hospitals have long relied on heroics to save the day – on one brilliant nurse or physician to fix the problem at hand. The result is a lot of people rowing in opposite directions, putting safety and quality at risk while increasing costs. Beyond Heroes is the story of an organization breaking that habit. Read more 

Transforming Health Care: Virginia Mason's Pursuit of the Perfect Patient Experience
Over the last several years Virginia Mason has become internationally known for its journey towards perfection by applying the Toyota Production System to healthcare. Transforming Health Care takes readers step by step through Virginia Mason's journey as it seeks to provide perfection to its customer – the patient. This book shows you how you use this system to transform your own organization. Read more 

Accelerating Healthcare Transformation with Lean and Innovation
Accelerating Healthcare Transformation describes how Virginia Mason has systematically integrated the structures, methods, and cultural practices from the creativity and innovation literature into its implementation of Lean. The theme of the book will be to show — not just conceptually, but through Virginia Mason's actual experiences — how Lean and innovation can work hand in hand to both incrementally improve and radically transform value streams. Read more 

A Leadership Journey in Health Care: Virginia Mason's Story 
A Leadership Journey in Health Care supplies an inside look at the lessons learned as well as the best practices developed at Virginia Mason during its 12-year process improvement journey. Describing breakthrough new work at Virginia Mason, the book explains why governance has played such a big role in Virginia Mason's success and also presents a new game-changing initiative concerning respect for people. Read more 

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
The Checklist Manifesto focuses on the usage of checklists in relation to several different elements of daily and professional life. The book looks at the usage of checklists in the business world as well as the medical profession, with Gawande examining how it could be used for greater efficiency, consistency and safety. Read more 

Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science
In Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science, a collection of 14 pieces, some of which were originally published in The New Yorker and Slate magazines, Gawande uses real-life scenarios – a burned-out doctor who refuses to quit; a terminal patient who opts for risky surgery, with fatal results – to explore the larger ethical issues that underlie medicine. He asks: How much input should a patient have? How can young doctors gain hands-on experience without endangering lives? And how responsible are these doctors for their mistakes? Read more 

Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance
Better explores how doctors strive to close the gap between best intentions and best performance in the face of obstacles that sometimes seem insurmountable. The vivid stories take us to battlefield surgical tents in Iraq, to a polio outbreak in India and to malpractice courtrooms around the country. Unflinching but compassionate, Gawande's investigation into medical professionals and their progression from good to great provides a detailed blueprint for success that can be used by everyone. Read more 

Creating a Lean Culture
A value stream manager for a Tier 1 automobile parts supplier recently declared that the biggest obstacle to sustaining lean is the lack of manager discipline. As examples he pointed to the day-to-day variation in the schedule of a typical manager: "They don’t even come to work at the same time each day."

He also pointed out that many managers spend less than 5 percent of their time where value is being added. And then rhetorically he asked, "Why are those work instructions and standard operating procedures not being followed? It’s because managers fail to follow up!" Most would agree that leader discipline is necessary for stable operations and to promote an environment of continuous improvement. So then what are the things a manager needs to do to be disciplined?

David Mann attempts to answer this question in his 2006 Shingo Prize winning book. Read more 

Lean Thinking, Banish Waste and Create Wealth in your Corporation
Lean Thinking offers a primer of lean concepts based on the Toyota production model. Read more 

Learning to See
Learning to See is a manual for value stream mapping-a beginning step for becoming lean. When I first heard of mapping with regards to lean, I thought of flowcharting. Although value stream mapping, like flowcharting, is a communication tool, there are many differences. Read more 

Implementing Six Sigma
There are many books talking about Six Sigma management theories, but few that explain how to perform the statistical tests and other techniques. Implementing Six Sigma is a reference text for the tools used in Six Sigma projects. Read more 

Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change
Managing Transitions provides potential change agents with practical tools and a framework to help them guide their organization through the uncertain journey of change. Read more 

Polarity Management: Identifying and Managing Unsolvable Problems
Polarity Management is a detailed explanation of how to change from win-lose thinking to win-win thinking. When you find yourself cycling from one solution for a few years, to another solution for a few years, but then back again to the first solution, this book can help you break that cycle. Read more 

Primal Leadership
Primal Leadership is a good resource for learning how to lead others through change. It complements Managing Transition and other books on how people go through change and complexity science literature focusing on characteristics of an environment ready for change. Primal Leadership identifies the skills needed by formal and informal leaders to lead others in changing their behavior. Read more 

Stop Rising Healthcare Costs Using Toyota Lean Production Methods – 38 Steps to Improvement
The author uses the opening portion of this book, U.S. Healthcare System Problems and Solutions, to set the stage for discussion of the 38 steps which are described in part two. Most readers of this book will recognize the importance of controlling healthcare costs and may be tempted to skip directly to Part II. Read more