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This book is a survival manual. It’s as simple as that.

As a retired surgeon and healthcare system CEO, I look at the challenges facing today’s healthcare executives and wonder how they can possibly prevail against them.

In a recent article in Becker’s Hospital Review, author Leigh Page clearly articulates the formidable problems that must be confronted. These include lower reimbursements, decreased state Medicaid funding, increased uncompensated care, Medicare recovery audits, and uncertainty about the impact of the Health Care Reform Act.

If these were not enough, add the daily frustrations facing healthcare providers and those who support them. They see the inefficiencies, unnecessary redundancies, and constant rework. They see the need for change but have no idea what that change should look like.

My thought is this: If Jack Welch (General Electric) and Bob Galvin (Motorola) can turn their companies around, then the bright, enterprising physicians, nurses, and administrative leaders of our healthcare organizations can do the same. But to do so, they will need the most robust methodologies and the most mature, time-tested tools. Welcome to Performance Improvement for Healthcare: Leading Change with Lean, Six Sigma, and Constraints Management.

For the first time, there is a fully-integrated performance improvement system that combines Constraints Management, Lean, and Six Sigma. Their synergies are powerful and dynamic and solve tough problems. Written in the language of healthcare, Performance Improvement for Healthcare features numerous concrete, relevant, real-life examples of successful applications of this performance-improvement system in hospital and clinic settings. It is readable, understandable, and implementable.

Leading the organizational and cultural transformation to implement these methodologies is not easy. It takes commitment, dedication, and constancy of purpose. It also requires a high degree of trust, especially among physicians, nurses, and their executive counterparts and between managers and those who report to them. However, it is doable—in fact, it’s already being done.

Performance Improvement for Healthcare shows a pathway to the future of healthcare. Enjoy this book—enjoy the rewarding journey.

Robert B. Halder, MD
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

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