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Missoula, MT Abstract The A3 report is a tool that Toyota Motor Corporation uses to propose solutions to problems, give status reports on ongoing projects, and report results of information gathering activity. In our current research to apply Toyota Production System principles in a hospital setting, we have adapted the A3 problem-solving report for use by hospital staff to improve their organizational processes, and have successfully applied it to numerous problems within a local community hospital.
This paper presents an A3 report template, describes the problem-solving approach it represents followed by an example, and discusses implementation, deployment issues, and potential benefits.
Toyota, healthcare, process improvement, problem-solving tool 1. Introduction Few companies in the world excel at continuous improvement on a corporate-wide basis like Toyota Motor Corporation. Rather, it evolved into its present state over decades of sustained, high level of continuous improvement activity .
However, unlike Toyota, much of the success has been confined to the production floor, and little success elsewhere. Nowhere is efficiency improvement needed more in our society than the healthcare system. The industry is experiencing significant shortages in many areas even while it faces dramatic increases in demand as the baby boomer generation ages .
Error rates are shockingly high . As a consequence, many have claimed that we are in a healthcare crisis. The healthcare industry is not standing by idle . Yet it seems all of this has done little to stem the tide.
At first brush, it would seem highly likely that a direct application of TPS tools like kanban, poka yoke concepts, etc.
But careful consideration of the principles and why they work, then adapting the appropriate tools to a hospital environment may result in significant breakthroughs in operational efficiency as well as improving the quality of care.
Toyota uses it to systematically guide problem-solvers through a rigorous process, document the key outcomes of that process, and propose improvements. Toyota calls this tool the A3 problem-solving report. Toyota has developed several kinds of A3 reports for different applications.
We have adapted the problem-solving report for use by healthcare workers, most of whom do not have engineering or business backgrounds. A template for our version of the A3 problem-solving report can be found as an appendix to this paper.
The report flows from top to bottom on the left-hand side, then top to bottom on the right-hand side. The three-hole punch on the left-hand combined with a tri-fold enables A3 reports to be stored in standard three-ring binders. While the names of the boxes can change, the basic storyline remains the same, as will be explained in the following subsections.
Successful A3s are done at the frontline, either directly by or validated by the people doing the work.
The theme indicates the problem being addressed, and is fairly descriptive.1. Get your baseline. Take the Fit Test to get your baseline scores on 3 games. See how you stack up against others your age, and take the first step in your training.
A3 Problem Solving. The most common way to use your A3 template.
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Problem solving is the act of defining a problem; determining the cause of the problem; identifying, prioritizing and selecting alternatives for a solution; and implementing a solution. Dartmouth Writing Program support materials - including development of argument.
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