The practice of “kaizen,” or continuous process improvement, began as post WWII Japanese industry sought to improve its efficiency. A chief feature of kaizen programs is the idea that improvements come from continual experimentation with process changes  and ongoing suggestions for them from grass-root worker suggestions.

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 A kaizen-based program was introduced by Beaumont’s administration five years ago, supported by consultant training of all hospital managers and onsite visits to other facilities with such programs in place. Every hospital department is expected to generate at least two kaizens per FTE per year, a goal is included in every employee performance evaluation.

Nutrition services can point to successful kaizens across its operations. These range from the silver labels used to identify gluten-free retail snacks, to improvements in purchase order procedures, to posting shelf-by-shelf case lifting weight limits on storeroom racks.