By September 15, 2006 1 Comments Read More →

Virginia Mason Production System

Oregon Health Forum – Events

Thanks to Andrea for this. Who is Virginia Mason and why does she have a production system? No, it’s a hospital, one of the leaders in the lean healthcare world.

Here is a link to a presentation (pdf file)

“Seeking Perfection in Healthcare: Applying the Toyota Production System to Medicine”

by Sarah Patterson, Executive Vice President/Hospital Administrator, Virginia Mason Medical Center.

There are many great examples of how lean applies for patient safety and patient care, how it drives employee involvement, etc. Reducing the time between cancer diagnosis and the start of treatment is a powerful accomplishment. Great stuff, I’m glad they share this. It’s an inspiration for all of us working in healthcare to spread lean.

Look on slide 26, showing the “after” view of 5S — there is cart clearly out of place. I assume that’s their point, to show how the visual controls make it obvious that there is a problem to be fixed.


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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an eBook titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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1 Comment on "Virginia Mason Production System"

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  1. JWDT says:

    I have had limited exposure to Virginia Mason Hospital, but it seems they are taking a road less traveled.

    It would be interesting to see if there are any examples like this within the Service industry (e.g. Large Healthcare or Financial institutions). Thanks for loading this presentation because I am going to spread it to the 4 Corners.

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