By November 3, 2011 0 Comments Read More →

10 Years of Lean at Virginia Mason Medical Center; CEO Transition Coming at Denver Health

Becker’s Hospital Review published a piece about the first 10 years of Lean at Seattle’s Virginia Mason Medical Center:  10 Years Later: Virginia Mason Production System Still Going Strong.

The article highlights some of the reasons for the longevity of Lean at VMMC, including:

  • C-level and senior leaders being engaged in culture change
  • Engaging front-line staff in identifying waste and improving processes
  • Partnering with outside organizations, including working with distributors to improve their supply chain

You can read about their Lean journey in the outstanding book Transforming Health Care: Virginia Mason Medical Center’s Pursuit of the Perfect Patient Experience.

The CEO at Virginia Mason, Dr. Gary Kaplan, has been a consistent presence during their entire Lean journey. ThedaCare’s Lean journey survived and continued to prosper when current CEO Dr. Dean Gruner replaced Dr. John Toussaint. Some other organizations have seen their Lean programs fade away after a leadership change at the top, including Wiremold and some healthcare organizations, sadly.

In related news, Dr. Patricia Gabow, the CEO of Denver Health is retiring after about 20 years at the helm. Considering all of their success at Denver Health, we can only hope that the next CEO continues to move things forward, for the sake of their patients, their staff, and their community.


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Now Available – The updated, expanded, and revised 3rd Edition of Mark Graban’s Shingo Research Award-Winning Book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement. You can buy the book today, including signed copies from the author.

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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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