CULTURE OF CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT—COMMITMENT TO ONGOING, REAL-TIME LEARNING
CASE The Virginia Mason Production System
To identify and eliminate waste and inefficiency in the main processes of health care delivery, in 2002, Virginia Mason (VM) Health System adapted elements of the Toyota Production System to develop the Virginia Mason Production System (VMPS). VMPS is a daily part of work at VM and is integral to the organization’s success. All leaders attend mandatory VMPS leadership training, are required to lead at least one formal improvement event each year, and are expected to routinely coach and train staff in how to improve their work using VMPS tools and methods. Managers from all areas routinely serve periods in the Kaizen Promotion Office, the team that guides improvement work. VMPS strategies range from small-scale ideas tested and implemented immediately to long-range planning that redesigns new spaces and processes. VM has completed 1,280 continuous-improvement activities involving staff, patients, and guests.
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