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Title
Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa Hosting Healthcare Value Leaders Network Site Visit
Start Date
03/21/2011
Article

Improving patient care by applying lean principles of continuous improvement and process redesign

MASON CITY – For the past three years, Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa has been improving patient care by applying lean principles of continuous improvement and process redesign.  Mercy – North Iowa is replicating techniques that have produced remarkable quality and productivity improvements for North American manufacturers over the last 30 years but are relatively new to the healthcare industry.

Due to successful outcomes from these lean principles, Mercy – North Iowa has been selected to host a two-day site visit for the Healthcare Value Leaders Network (HVLN), Network 3 on March 24 and 25, 2011.  The HVLN is made up of healthcare organizations from across North America all of which are on a lean journey.

This event will involve structured learning and interaction at the work site or “gemba” (a Japanese term for the place where the work is actually done).  This site visit will be focused on “The Structure Required for a Problem Solving Culture – A Team Leader Concept”, a new model of care on nursing units recently implemented at Mercy – North Iowa.  Participants will gain a better understanding of the importance of sequence and timing of a lean introduction to enable a culture of front-line problem solving; learn about Mercy – North Iowa’s Team Leader Boot Camp; and be able to describe the new attributes, competencies and characteristics of an effective team leader. 

This is an opportunity for like-minded individuals and healthcare organizations to gather and learn from each other, as well as assess and provide valuable feedback to Mercy – North Iowa.  All levels of staff, from CEO to front-line associates, will be involved in teaching and presenting to the participants of this site visit.

Healthcare Value Leaders Network (HVLN)
HVLN is a partnership between the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) and the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value (TCHV).  This relationship brings together two of the world's leaders in "lean thinking," with a combined 20 years of experience in lean implementation and education. Working in partnership allows LEI and the TCHV to leverage their unique perspectives and not-for-profit missions to accomplish a shared goal of fundamentally improving healthcare delivery through lean thinking. 

Currently, HVLN has three networks, each made up of between 10 to 14 healthcare organizations from across North America all of which are on the lean journey.  Cleveland Clinic, Harvard Vanguard, Seattle Children’s, Kaiser Permanente, ThedaCare, Park Nicollet Health Services, and UCLA Health System are just a few of the distinguished members in the Healthcare Value Leaders Network.

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