Virginia Mason Institute Marks Fifth Year of Teaching Lean Techniques to Transform Health Care

Newswise — SEATTLE – (Aug. 1, 2013) – The Virginia Mason Institute, established in response to the number of requests for Virginia Mason Medical Center to share its success in applying lean principles to improve health care, is commemorating its fifth anniversary this year.

Since the institute was created in 2008, more than 5,000 people from 19 countries – most of them health care leaders and professionals – have attended its education and training programs in the Virginia Mason Production System (VMPS).

VMPS is Virginia Mason’s management methodology for eliminating waste, improving quality and safety, and reducing cost. It is based on the Toyota Production System developed in Japan more than 50 years ago.

This month, 25 hospital administrators, physicians, nurses and others from Japan are among the people traveling to Seattle to attend a two-day VMPS seminar. “We are grateful for the opportunity to help professionals around the world learn how to make their hospitals better by modeling the work Virginia Mason is doing to transform health care,” said Diane Miller, executive director of the Virginia Mason Institute.

More than a decade ago, Virginia Mason Medical Center became the first in the U.S. to apply the lean principles of the Toyota Production System (TPS) to health care. The medical center implemented the TPS-inspired Virginia Mason Production System to drive continuous improvement by identifying and eliminating waste, thereby elevating quality, improving safety and lowering cost.

Most people who learn with the Virginia Mason Institute are health care leaders and professionals, but being in health care is not a requirement. Architects, government officials, port authorities and representatives of myriad other businesses have participated in VMPS education and training programs in Seattle and cities across the U.S.

“Leaders in health care and other businesses are eager to learn proven techniques that can take their organizations to the next level of quality, safety and efficiency,” Miller said. “The philosophy, tools and methods of the Virginia Mason Production System can be used by any type of business that is committed to becoming a better organization for its customers and employees.”

About Virginia Mason Medical CenterVirginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. Virginia Mason employs more than 5,300 people and includes a 336-bed acute-care hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 460 physicians; satellite locations throughout the Puget Sound area; and Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the U.S. designed and built specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS. Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason is internationally recognized for its breakthrough autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason was the first health system to apply lean manufacturing principles to health care delivery to eliminate waste and improve quality and patient safety. Virginia Mason online:

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