What were reasons for implementing lean management at Virginia Mason Hospital? Lean thinking begins with driving out waste so that all work adds value and serves the customer’s needs. Identifying value-added and non-value-added steps in every process is the beginning of the journey toward lean operations. In order for lean principles to take root, leaders must first work to create an organizational culture that is receptive to lean thinking. The commitment to lean must start at the very top of the organization, and all staff should be involved in helping to redesign processes to improve flow and reduce waste.
Although health care differs in many ways from manufacturing, there are also surprising similarities: Whether building a car or providing health care for a patient, workers must rely on multiple, complex processes to accomplish their tasks and provide value to the customer or patient. Waste —of money, time, supplies, or good will — decreases value. And the CEO of VM realized several reasons for them to implement lean management to improve the poor performance of the old system: 1.
The path to better quality and safety is the same as the path to reduced cost. 2.
VM’s old system is full of waste (non-value-added activities), need to systematically reduce and eliminate that waste. 3.
Improvement is not coming from a technological arms race.
What is VMPS and what are its main principles?
The Virginia Mason Production System (VMPS) is a management method based on manufacturing principles that seeks to continually improve how work is done. Using this method, Virginia Mason (VM) identifies and eliminates waste and inefficiency in the many processes that are part of the health care experience, making it possible for VM staff to deliver the highest quality and safest patient care. By streamlining repetitive and low-touch aspects of care delivery, staff and providers spend more time talking with, listening to and treating patients. Virginia Mason’s vision is...
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