Yesterday and today, more than 60 health care leaders from around the country are in Ann Arbor, to see for themselves how our Health System uses lean thinking to improve operations and deliver high-quality care. They’re also offering their guidance on how we can get even better at lean transformation.
UMHS was chosen for this site visit by members of the Healthcare Value Network, a learning collaborative of health care organizations committed to lean transformation. The visitors include leaders from Johns Hopkins Medicine, Kaiser Permanente, ThedaCare, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Seattle Children’s Hospital, the UCLA Health System, Group Health Cooperative and the Iowa Health System.
Yesterday, the group went to specific workplaces across UMHS to see lean projects in action. In lean terms, this is called “going to the gemba”.
The visitors learned from staff and faculty about projects in Physical Therapy, the Cardiovascular Center, Central Sterile Supply, Interventional Radiology, the Emergency Department & Medical Observation Unit, the 7A Inpatient Unit, the Mott Hospital ORs, Obstetrics/Labor & Delivery, Pathology/Blood Bank/Chemistry and various clinics in the Taubman Health Center.
Also yesterday, the visitors heard more about UMHS lean efforts from U-M Hospitals & Health Centers CEO Doug Strong, UMHHC chief operating officer Tony Denton, quality improvement director Deb Guglielmo, Associate VP for Medical Affairs Jack Billi, M.D., Carrie Dawson, the manager of the Admissions and Bed Coordination Center, and Kevin DeHority, a lean coach with the Michigan Quality System.
Today, they’ll be at a local hotel to share their impressions of UMHS lean efforts with representatives from across our Health System, and to offer strategies they have developed at their own institutions. They’ll also hear from Chief Medical Officer Darrell (Skip) Campbell, Jr., M.D. and others about UMHS efforts to spread quality improvement and lean thinking to other hospitals and health care institutions across the state of Michigan, through efforts supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and others. They’ll also hear from John Shook, the CEO of the Lean Enterprise Institute – a top national expert in lean thinking.
“Thanks to everyone who is taking part in this two-day gemba visit – especially those who welcomed our site visitors to their workplaces,” says Billi. “We’ve achieved so much by applying lean principles to many areas of our large and complex health system, and this experience both recognizes us for that effort, and helps us understand how we can improve further.”