Collected Quality & Cost Results from Healthcare Value Network Members


I was at the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value office a few months ago when Dr. John Toussaint reported that he had gotten a call from Dr. Don Berwick, the head of Medicare and Medicaid. Dr. Berwick wanted a collection of results from healthcare organizations that are improving quality and reducing costs, through approaches like Lean management.

We scurried and collected results from a number of Healthcare Value Network member organizations and sent the data to D.C.  Toussaint posted that collection of data on his website and I'm happy to share highlights here.

Here are some of the shared results:

  • From January 2009 to March 2011, Akron Children's Hospital has  reduced costs by over $8 million and reduced appointment access waiting times by a  total of 74,608 days.
  • Group Health (podcast with them yesterday)  achieved 29% fewer emergency room visits, 6% fewer hospitalizations and a $10.3 per member, per month savings after 21 months.
  • Through the intense  improvement efforts of the Henry Ford Hospital “No Harm” campaign in 2010, total costs were reduced to  $34,465,612, a $4.4 million dollar improvement with a cost-savings of $85 per patient.
  • Inova Health's E.D. “left without being seen” rates dropped from 2% to .48%, waiting time  decreased by 31%, time to see the doctor dropped from 55 minutes to 22 minutes.
  • Quality improvements at Seattle Children's Hospital  include a 66% reduction in TPN medication error rates, a 50% reduction in ICU bloodstream infections, and 20% fewer ventilator days for patients. They haveavoided $200 million in capital costs by using CPI to increase capacity in lieu of building additional patient rooms and ambulatory services space. They have also reduced patient costs by 3.7% and supply expenses by $2.5 million.

Here is a link to a PDF document that has all of the data and examples.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. Hi Mark

    I’m often asked for evidence that Lean approaches work in healthcare and you’ve kindly provided some compelling material. So a big thank you for helping me do my job!


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