Perfecting Patient Care University – a review

By Dean Bliss

I recently attended Perfecting Patient Care University, a 4-day training event that teaches Lean in healthcare. The University is a product of the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI), which has been around since the late 1990’s, was one of the early pioneers and promoters of Lean healthcare, and was recently featured in the book The Pittsburgh Way to Efficient Healthcare: Improving Patient Care Using Toyota Based Methods” (web site www.prhi.org).

The University is an excellent program that covers the philosophy and tools of Lean and their application to patient care. Through the use of videos, simulations, direct healthcare observations, and other hands-on activities, the program brings the need for performance improvement to life, and demonstrates the value in the healthcare industry. There were 3 simulations – a simple Lego one, a simple wood block one, and a complex circuit board one. Though they are somewhat manufacturing-based, the instructors bring the lessons to healthcare settings as the simulations develop.

The team of instructors brings hands-on expertise as well as their instructional skills. The team has a mix of clinical (a nurse and a tech) and non-clinical experience. And the course is very affordable in comparison to similar courses across the country.

For those who are considering bringing Lean to their organizations, or those who are looking for a way to educate those in their organizations about Lean and how it can work in healthcare, the Perfecting Patient Care University is a great alternative. Courses are offered several times a year, and may also be brought on site. As a Lean practitioner myself, and as someone who’s seen many training packages over the years, I recommend the University as an excellent way to begin a Lean journey in healthcare.

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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 book 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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