Virginia Mason Health & Research: Model of Quality Leadership Adopting Toyota Lean Model

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Recently Modern Healthcare interviewed Dr. Gary Kaplan, chairman and CEO of Virginia Mason Health System in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Kaplan led the organization down the path of continuous improvement for the past 18 years—an exhausting and energizing road.

Virginia Mason adopted the Toyota production system as the foundation of management for what they call the Virginia Mason Production System. It represented among other things, “a relentless war on waste.” Perhaps other health systems (including research centers) and pharmaceutical sponsors have something to learn from the journey of Virginia Mason down Toyota road.

Select the link below to find the interview at the news source.

The Virginia Mason Production System represents what was an ambitious, system-wide program to change the way it delivered healthcare, and in the process, improve patient safety and quality. It did so by combining basic tenets of the Toyota Production System (TPS), and elements from the philosophies of kaizen and lead, to create the Virginia Mason Production System (VMPS).

Virginia Mason was truly the first health system to integrate the Toyota management philosophy throughout its entire system—as compared to some health systems that have initiated TPS influenced efforts. The Virginia Mason Institute provides education and training in the VMPS management method to health care and other industry leaders.

The VMPS included Research

Virginia Mason is an active clinical research center conducting hundreds of clinical trials. Their Clinical Studies, in partnership with Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI), is the northwest’s leader in offering clinical studies to patients. With a focus on innovative treatments, they participate in research involving arthritis, cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other conditions in immunology, cardiology and urology. The VMPS has been adopted throughout research reflecting in quality, safety and productivity gains.