Local News Stories About a Healthcare Value Leaders Network Visit to N. Iowa

Recently, a group of leaders from the third cohort in the Healthcare Value Leaders Network visited Mercy Medical Center in Mason City, Iowa for one of our “gemba visits” that are conducted three times a year in each cohort.

These visits are designed to foster deep learning, sharing, and networking. The intent isn’t for organizations to simply copy from each other – the visits are designed for visiting members to see and learn, but to also ask questions and challenge the host organization. That way, everybody improves.

The local paper had a story after the visit: “Lean: Exceeding investment at Mercy-North Iowa.” From that article:

The Lean principles initiative started in 2007 at Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa has already improved workplace efficiency, saved money and, most important, improved service to patients, Mercy officials said.


At Mercy, frontline staff have been empowered to help identify ways to deliver services more efficiently, said Michael Johnston, Mercy vice president of network development.

“Our biggest focus was, how do we make patient care better,” Johnston said.

While the headline focused on Return On Investment, or ROI, the quotes from Mercy leaders emphasize the broad benefits of Lean. Lean is patient-focused and these methods and principles lead to quality and patient safety improvements.

There was also a local TV news story on the visit: “How Mercy Medical North Iowa is Improving Care“.

if you’d to learn from some of these leaders from our Network members, I hope you’ll consider registering for our public event in June – the Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit, to be held in Seattle June 8 and 9. Hope to see you there!

Conflict of interest statement: I work for the Lean Enterprise Institute, a founding partner of the Healthcare Value Leaders Network.

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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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