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Second Healthcare Network Created to Spread Lean Principles

Cambridge, MA, June 8, 2010 – The Lean Enterprise Institute and the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value have formed the second Healthcare Value Leaders Network, building on the initial Network that started in June 2009. These Networks are one of the primary means through which LEI and the Center seek to spread lean principles in healthcare. The members of the Networks are focused on fundamentally improving the way healthcare is delivered in the U.S. and Canada by using the principles of continuous improvement and process redesign to remove waste and to improve quality. The Networks engage working groups of dedicated providers to connect with and learn from each other, thereby creating tangible momentum toward value in healthcare.

 The organizations forming the second Network are:

  • Akron Children's Hospital – Akron, OH
  • Alberta Health Services – Edmonton, Alberta
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center – Boston, MA
  • BJC Healthcare – St. Louis, MO
  • Christie Clinic – Champaign, IL
  • Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates – Boston, MA
  • Kaiser Permanente – Oakland, CA
  • Provena Covenant Medical Center – Urbana, IL
  • Seattle Children's Hospital – Seattle, WA
  • St. Joseph Health System – Orange, CA

 A list of the first Network’s members can be found at http://healthcarevalueleaders.org/currentmembers.cfm 

 The goals of the Networks for the healthcare industry as a whole are to:

  • Improve safety, quality, and efficiency in the delivery of care
  • Document best practices for lean transformation
  • Create a common definition of value in healthcare
  • Create common measures for performance comparison


These Networks can achieve the same kind of remarkable quality and productivity improvements that American manufacturers have produced over the last 30 years using lean methods. These Network members are dedicated to applying similar continuous improvement techniques in their organizations.

Network Resources and Benefits

The Networks engage healthcare professionals in learning how to improve safety, quality, and efficiency. 

 Network participants also benefit from:

  • Access to private resources and collaboration on the Network’s web site: http://healthcarevalueleaders.org/ 
  • A common assessment tool, in conjunction with the Shingo Prize organization, that helps track their improvement journey
  • Education about leading an organizational transformation toward a culture of continuous improvement
  • Accelerated learning with like-minded colleagues through deep-dive opportunities and intensive site visits
  • An annual conference of sharing and regular virtual learning opportunities, the Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit (https://www.lean.org/Events/2010_lean_hc_transformation_summit.cfm)


Becoming a Member of the Healthcare Value Leaders Network

In addition to the first two Networks, additional Networks will be created with no more than 10-15 organizations each — the optimal size for in-depth learning and dialogue among members. Although all Networks will be connected for learning purposes, deep dive learning opportunities will occur within the smaller groups. In this way, the momentum can be sustained between organizations that know each other and are working together. Once a year, all the groups will come together to learn from colleagues in the entire set of Networks at the Summit.

Other provider organizations committed to the transformational journey are invited to join the Network. To learn more, go to the Network Web site at http://healthcarevalueleaders.org/leadersnetwork/howtojoin.cfm or visit the main site at http://www.healthcarevalueleaders.org/ 

About the Lean Enterprise Institute

Lean Enterprise Institute, Inc., was founded in 1997 by management expert James P. Womack, Ph.D., as a nonprofit research, education, publishing, and conference company with a mission to advance lean thinking around the world. We teach courses, hold management seminars, write and publish books and workbooks, and organize public and private conferences. We use the surplus revenues from these activities to conduct research projects and support other lean initiatives such as the Lean Education Academic Network, the Lean Global Network and the Healthcare Value Leaders Network. Visit LEI at https://www.lean.org for more information.

 About the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value

Created in 2008 by ThedaCare president/CEO emeritus John Toussaint, MD, the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value is working to close the gap between value creation and marketplace reward. We hope to create a healthcare marketplace that rewards providers for delivering value measured in terms of highest quality at the lowest cost. We are targeting these issues by publishing the framework by which organizations transform themselves using healthcare LEAN. Our experience tells us that our goal needs to be to make every person in a health care organization a daily problem solver. The Center will teach transformation leadership using the lessons and firsthand experience gained from our and others quality journey.