Accelerating Health Care Transformation with Lean and Innovation: The Virginia Mason Experience, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Accelerating Health Care Transformation with Lean and Innovation

The Virginia Mason Experience, 1st Edition

By Paul E. Plsek

Productivity Press

216 pages | 15 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781482203837
pub: 2013-10-07
SAVE ~$8.79
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429255533
pub: 2013-10-07
from $21.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC) was one of the first health care organizations to implement Lean and its methodologies. Other organizations have followed VMMC’s lead, but this world class organization still leads in the utilization of innovative Lean tools.

Accelerating Health Care Transformation with Lean and Innovation: The Virginia Mason Experience describes how VMMC has systematically integrated innovative structures, methods, and cultural practices into its implementation of Lean. Describing how your organization can create a strategy and build a culture of innovation and learning, it supplies concrete examples that show—not just conceptually, but through VMMC's actual experiences—how Lean and innovation can work hand-in-hand to incrementally improve and radically transform your value streams.

Explaining how to use the voices and experiences of patients and their families to drive improvement and innovation in new directions, the book supplies a clear understanding of how Lean can help you achieve your goals in today’s increasingly demanding marketplace.


"Lean sounds mean; innovation sounds risky. But both are at the heart of what people do every day at VMMC. With lucid descriptions and riveting examples, Paul Plsek tells us how this top-rated health care organization created the culture and provided the tools so that everyone can innovate and learn. A treasure trove of insights for all who, like VMMC, strive to provide a ‘perfect patient experience’."

—Lucian L. Leape, MD, Harvard School of Public Health

"Health care organizations are being asked to do the seemingly impossible: become defect-free by standardizing core processes and reducing waste, while nurturing a culture of innovation. In this superb and highly readable book, management guru Paul Plsek describes how one US medical center – Seattle’s Virginia Mason – managed to achieve these twin goals. He argues convincingly that the goals of "Lean thinking" and innovation are not in tension; rather, when approached the right way, they are highly synergistic. Plsek writes with insight, experience, and clarity, and the book is chock-full of inspiring examples and practical tools. If I were leading an effort to improve the care delivered by my organization, this would be the first book I would distribute to all of my clinicians, staff, administrators, and board members."

—Robert M. Wachter, MD, Associate Chair, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco

"The practical tools and approaches Plsek offers are helpful for health care providers at all levels. This book demonstrates, through the remarkable journey of Virginia Mason Medical Center, what can be accomplished when leadership, Lean thinking, and creative innovation all align."

—Maureen Bisognano, President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

"Few organizations in health and medical care have created a learning system aimed at achieving performance that is better everyday than it was the day before. The system involves every employee, every board member, every patient, and ideas and practices from every industry and geography. Virginia Mason is not a finished product, but if you are interested in learning how to pursue excellence in a non-random way… should read this book."

—Paul O'Neill, Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alcoa and the 72nd Secretary of the US Treasury

"Health care is in the midst of a massive transformation – a true ‘100 year storm’ that will thin the weak but leave the strong standing even taller. This volume outlines the deep roots, based in Lean quality theory, that can anchor a care delivery group to withstand the blasts and thrive in the gale. It comes from one of the few whole truly know – a rare organization that models the principles, and harvests the results, that will form the next generation of health care delivery. Most important, it addresses fundamentals – the core infrastructure from which any world-class organization grows – at a level of sufficient practical detail to actually be useful to others striving for excellence in the field."

—Brent C. James, MD, M.Stat, Chief Quality Officer and Executive Director, Institute for Health Care Delivery Research, Intermountain Healthcare

"This is the ‘must-read’ text for anyone in healthcare who is interested in improvement and innovation. It is easy to read, provides lots of stories, and describes how evidence can, and has been put into action through real world examples. Many people will recognise that Virginia Mason has been successfully using Lean methods but most will be surprised by their clever use of both innovation and Lean methods together thus creating significantly more value than using either alone and dispelling the myth that Lean and innovation methods cannot work in harmony. There is a clear message that patients are the number one priority. We see how they actively seek to deeply understand patient’s experiences and how they engage both patients and staff to create innovations that make the biggest difference. To achieve innovation leaders cannot rely on tools and techniques alone, they have to create the conditions that support staff to excel. Rather than putting this into the ‘too difficult’ list we see how Virginia Mason leadership teams have committed to achieving conditions within which innovation can flourish.

As you travel through this book you will recognise some of the struggles that healthcare teams from around the world face, read on and you will learn valuable lessons about how you too can overcome these to create a thriving organisation that provides an excellent service for patients and an excellent workplace for staff."

—Dr. Lynne Maher, Director for Innovation, Ko Awatea, Middlemore Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand

Table of Contents

Virginia Mason, Lean, and Innovation

A Leader in Lean Thinking in Healthcare

Lean Thinking Basics

Creativity and Innovation Basics

Virginia Mason’s Chair of Innovation

The Marriage of Lean and Innovation at Virginia Mason Medical Center

Strategy as Innovation, Strategy for Innovation

The Challenge of Innovation in Healthcare

Seat-of-the-Pants versus Deliberately Planned Innovation

Are You Guys Kidding Me? The Patient at the Top of a Pyramid!

Four Strategic Pillars Support Pursuit of the Perfect Patient Experience

Looking Outside for Insight: The Birth of the Virginia Mason Production System

Gaining outside Insight on Innovation

Evolution of the Strategic Innovation Plan

Listening to the Voice of the Future

Stimulating Breakthrough Innovation

The Board’s Role in Strategy and Innovation: You Have to Be on the Team

Transforming Healthcare: What Others Can Learn from Virginia Mason’s Innovation Strategy

Leaders in Other Healthcare Organizations Should

Integrating Innovation and Lean in Practice

Debunking the Myth

Integrating Lean and Innovation: Natural Overlaps in Tools and Methods

The Marriage of Lean and Innovation: A Careful Courtship

Innovation and Lean in Hospital Design

Innovating in Primary Care

Busting Assumptions about the Management of Medically Complex Surgical Patients

Redesigning Surveillance of Healthcare-Acquired Infections

Embedding Innovation Tools into the Structure of Lean Workshops

Transforming Healthcare: What Others Can Learn from Virginia Mason’s Integration of Lean and Innovation Tools

Leaders in Other Healthcare Organizations Should

Learning to Be Innovative

Learning and Unlearning

Key Concepts: Pedagogy, Andragogy, and Reflective Practice

Creating a Learning Organization: There Are No Shortcuts

A Quick Word about Leaders and Leadership

Virginia Mason’s Systematic Approach to Skills Development for Leaders

Structural Practices that Support Innovative Thinking in Leaders

Evolution of Training and Development for Innovation

Virginia Mason’s Innovation Competencies

Transforming Healthcare: What Others Can Learn from Virginia Mason’s Innovation Leadership Knowledge and Capability Efforts

Leaders in Other Healthcare Organizations Should

Supportive Culture for Innovation

Dimensions of Culture that Support Innovation

Innovation Culture Does Not Exist in a Vacuum

Examples of the Seven Dimensions of Culture at Virginia Mason

Describing Organizational Culture for Innovation: Portal Charts

Assessing Organizational Culture for Innovation

Virginia Mason’s Assessment of the Dimensions of Culture that Support Innovation

Innovation Culture Kaizen

Transforming Healthcare: What Others Can Learn from Virginia Mason’s Innovation Culture Efforts

Leaders in Other Healthcare Organizations Should

Supportive Infrastructure for Innovation

Examples of Innovation Infrastructures in Leading Healthcare Institutions

Infrastructure Evolves in Context

The Kaizen Promotion Office (KPO): Supporting the Implementation of the Virginia Mason Production System

Innovation Leadership Team (ILT): Providing Board and Executive Level Guidance for Innovation

Center for Innovation: The Small Team behind the Scenes

Information Technology Supports for Innovation: Browsing for Knowledge and Ideas

Emerging Infrastructures: Innovation Grants and Moonshine

Communications Infrastructure: Getting the Word Out about Innovation

Center for Health Care Solutions: Catalyzing Breakthrough Innovations in Care by Supporting Uncommon Conversations

Transforming Healthcare: What Others Can Learn from Virginia Mason’s Innovation Infrastructure Efforts

Leaders in Other Healthcare Organizations Should

Bringing Innovation to Daily Work

"I Swore I Was Going to Find a Way to Make That Never Happen Again"

"We’re Throwing Everything, Including the Kitchen Sink, at You"

Bringing Fresh Ideas to the Daily Practice of Surgery

KVM Radio

"I’m Doing It Today, and Never Again"

The Everyday Lean Idea System

Making Things Better While the Moon Is Shining

Informatics Practitioners: Making Better Use of Information in Daily Clinical Work

Innovation Grants Process: Supporting Those with Potential Breakthrough Ideas

Transforming Healthcare: What Others Can Learn from Virginia Mason’s Innovation in Daily Work Efforts

Leaders in Other Healthcare Organizations Should

Using Patient Experience to Drive Innovation

The Customers’ Role in Innovation

Evolution of the Strategic Focus on Service

Imported from the UK: Experience-Based Design

Experience-Based Design Meets Standard Work in a Clinic

Understanding the Emotional Experience of Surgical Patients and Families

You Can See a Lot by Looking

I Am Sure That This Is What They Will Want

The Roller Coaster of Emotion

The Case of the Critical Care Unit

Building the Infrastructure to Support Experience-Based Design

Team Members Have Emotional Experiences Too!

Transforming Healthcare: What Others Can Learn from Virginia Mason’s Focus on Patients and Families

Leaders in Other Healthcare Organizations Should

Looking Ahead: The Future of Innovation and Lean at the Virginia Mason Medical Center

A Strategic Plan that Stands the Test of Time

Further Embedding Innovation Methods in VMPS

Creating More Capability through Culture Development, Education, and Infrastructure

Enhancing the Implementation of Experience-Based Design Methodology

Looking Outward to Innovate

Creating Breakthrough Innovation to Transform the Healthcare Marketplace

Hearing the Voice of the Future while Avoiding the Siren Call of Technology Alone

Spreading the Word to Transform Healthcare

Moon Shots for Management

Source Notes




Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Service Industries
MEDICAL / Administration