Seattle Hospital Credits Lean for Its Financial Turnaround

Hospital leaders attribute process improvement with turning around the organization

In Seattle, Washington, one of the nation’s earliest hospitals to embrace and implement Lean and the Toyota Production System reports strong improvement in clinical care, along with sound finances. This is positive affirmation for those clinical laboratories and pathology groups that are using Lean methods in their own organizations.

It was almost 10 years ago when the 336-bed Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC) took its first steps to implement Lean. During the academic medical center’s decade-long journey, use of out-of-the-box thinking and process improvement methods helped VMMC earn a slew of national recognitions for its award-winning outcomes produced by Lean. It calls its flavor of Lean the “Virginia Mason Production System.”

Restoring Financial Stability at Virginia Mason Medical Center

Ten years ago, VMMC faced difficult challenges as a healthcare provider and money was one of them.