How Hoshin Kanri can be used in healthcare


Hoshin Kanri, also known as Policy Deployment, is a management strategy that can be used in healthcare to align organizational goals, objectives, and action plans.  It is a process for cascading a company’s vision and strategy throughout the organization, involving everyone from top management to front-line employees.  In healthcare, Hoshin Kanri can be used to prioritize and implement quality improvement initiatives, drive performance, and improve patient outcomes.  It is often used to improve the health of patients and guide procedures in hospital emergency rooms.

It is a popular policy management option used by continuous improvement managers because of its effectiveness.  Hoshin Kanri is often used during a Six Sigma project as a way for Six Sigma Black Belts to align the project with the overall strategic goals of the hospital.  By incorporating Hoshin Kanri into a Six Sigma project, the project team can ensure that the project is aligned with the organization’s vision and strategy and that the project’s benefits align with the organization’s overall objectives.  The process includes the following:

1. Defining the organizational vision and goals

Organizational vision and goals are the guiding principles that define the purpose and direction of a healthcare organization.  Organizational vision: A vision statement is a clear and inspiring description of what the organization wants to achieve in the long term.  It sets the tone for the organization’s strategy and provides a framework for decision-making.

A good vision statement should be aspirational, inspiring, and forward-looking.  Organizational goals: Goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound targets that an organization sets to achieve its vision.  Goals are used to focus the organization’s efforts, allocate resources, and track progress.  They are usually positioned at different levels of the organization, from the overall corporate goals to departmental and individual goals.

Defining the organizational vision and goals involves a collaborative process that involves stakeholders from across the organization.  This process typically involves defining the organization’s values, understanding its strengths and weaknesses, and identifying its opportunities and challenges.  The result should be a clear and concise statement of the organization’s vision and goals that provide a foundation for decision-making and guides the organization’s efforts toward achieving its objectives.

2. Developing action plans and assigning responsibilities

Developing action plans and assigning responsibilities to employees is an essential step in implementing the organization’s goals and objectives.  Here are the steps a manager can follow to develop action plans and assign responsibilities to employees:

  1. Identify tasks: Break down the overall goal into smaller, more manageable tasks.
  2. Assign responsibilities: Based on the tasks identified, determine which employees have the necessary skills, experience, and resources to take on specific duties.
  3. Develop action plans: For each task, create a detailed action plan that outlines the steps required to complete it, including milestones, deadlines, and performance measures.
  4. Clarify expectations: Ensure employees understand what is expected of them and what success looks like. Provide any necessary training or resources to help employees succeed.
  5. Establish accountability: Assign a specific person or team to be responsible for each task and ensure they are held accountable for delivering results.
  6. Monitor progress: Regularly check in with employees to track progress and identify any issues that need to be addressed. Celebrate successes and acknowledge contributions along the way.
  7. Adjust as needed: Continuously review and adjust the action plan as necessary to ensure that it remains aligned with the organization’s overall goals.


By following these steps, a manager can develop effective action plans, assign responsibilities to employees, and ensure that the organization’s goals and objectives are achieved promptly and efficiently.

3. Monitoring progress and making necessary adjustments

A manager can monitor progress during a project and make necessary adjustments by establishing a system for tracking progress and regularly reviewing performance data.  Here are some steps a manager can follow:

  1. Establish performance metrics: Define specific, measurable, and relevant performance metrics that will be used to track progress and evaluate results.
  2. Gather data: Regularly collect and analyze data on performance using tools such as dashboards, reports, and project management software.
  3. Review performance: Regularly review performance data to identify trends, track progress against goals, and identify areas that need improvement.
  4. Communicate with team members: Regularly communicate with team members to gather feedback, discuss progress, and identify any obstacles that need to be addressed.
  5. Identify and address issues: Identify and address any issues that arise during the project, such as resource constraints, changes in scope, or unexpected risks.
  6. Make necessary adjustments to the project plan based on performance data, feedback from team members, and changing circumstances.
  7. Evaluate results: At the end of the project, evaluate the results and use the lessons learned to improve the process continuously.


By following these steps, a manager can effectively monitor progress during a project, identify areas for improvement, and make necessary adjustments to ensure that the project stays on track and achieves its desired outcomes.


By using Hoshin Kanri, healthcare organizations can improve collaboration, clarify expectations and roles, and ensure that resources are used effectively to achieve desired outcomes.  Whether Hoshin Kanri is used by a continuous improvement practitioner like a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt or a medical office manager to align organizational goals, this management strategy will continue to be used in healthcare.

Rei Takako

Rei Takako

BS, Business Management
Chicago, IL