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Third Annual Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit

Appleton, WI (June 29, 2012) – Five hundred healthcare leaders gathered in Minneapolis earlier this month for the Third Annual Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit, hosted by The ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value and the Lean Enterprise Institute. The two-day conference featured several keynotes, two plenary presentations and breakout sessions on a variety of lean topics. Attendees also enjoyed a welcome reception and luncheon roundtables.

"This was a great breakthrough collection of sessions that challenged my lean thinking," said one participant. Others also had positive comments about the Summit’s invaluable takeaways and networking opportunities.

Keynote Speakers

The keynote presentations featured industry leaders who shared their experiences and expertise:

  • John Toussaint, MD, CEO emeritus of ThedaCare and CEO of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, discussed healthcare’s unsustainable path and outlined necessary changes in healthcare delivery, transparency and payment. “We need to change our management system,” he said. “Systems must move away from vertical silos and into horizontal enterprise-wide thinking for patient flow and payment.”
  • Harold D. Miller, executive director of the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform, President and CEO of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement, and Adjunct Professor of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, urged healthcare leaders to aim for continued small win-win scenarios and suggested that multi-stakeholder Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives will play a key role in getting to this future state.
  • John Shook, CEO of the Lean Enterprise Institute and recognized as a true lean sensei, spoke about one-piece flow, lean problem-solving and the need for management that balances the social and technical sides of work.

Plenary speakers Jim FitzPatrick, former president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa, and Alice Lee, vice president of Business Transformation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, talked about results in their own organizations, with a focus on involving frontline staff.

CEO Panel

Day two of the summit featured a CEO panel of top leaders from four health systems across the United States and Canada:

  • Paul DeChant, MD, Sutter Gould Medical Foundation
  • Rachelle Schultz,  Winona Health
  • Michel Tétreault, MD, St. Boniface General Hospital
  • Joan R. Magruder, Missouri Baptist Medical Center

Noting the importance of CEO involvement in lean healthcare improvement events, they offered advice and examples on engaging staff in a lean cultural transformation.

“It’s important to demystify lean for CEOs,” Magruder said. “This will be very foreign for some. I highly encourage them to schedule a site visit that allows them to see the power of a mature lean organization firsthand.”

Breakout Sessions

Building on this year’s theme of “Experiments Transforming the Industry,” Summit participants also took part in learning sessions on topics like:

  • Improvement katas
  • Spreading lean across a large municipal hospital system
  • Physician engagement in improvement
  • Leading by asking questions
  • Thinking about payment reform
  • Lean accounting: roles of the CEO and CFO
  • Starbucks teaching model using TWI
  • Assessment
  • 3Ps
  • The power of a model line
  • Financial aspects of a management system

Several sessions focused specifically on experiments and featured presentations from providers in the Healthcare Value Network, from the Netherlands and Brazil, and transparency organizations in Wisconsin.

"Transforming healthcare will require a ‘gang tackle,’” said Mike Stoecklein, director of Network operations for The Center. “It was exciting to see industry leaders from around the United States, Canada and five other countries convene to collaborate on this important work."

Sixty members of the Healthcare Value Network who were in attendance also did post-Summit tours of two local healthcare organizations that are applying lean principles: Park Nicollet Health Services and Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.  

To get a better glimpse inside this year’s summit, read our PDFs of Q&A with Dr. Toussaint and Harold Miller, and the CEO panel. Or, visit http://gembawalkabout.tumblr.com/.

Next year’s summit is scheduled for June 5-6, 2013. Watch for additional details in coming months.

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. The Cambridge, MA-based nonprofit conducts research projects and supports other lean initiatives such as the Lean Education Academic Network, the Lean Global Network and the Healthcare Value Network. Visit LEI at https://www.lean.org for more information.

Media: Chet Marchwinski, cmarchwinski@lean.org, (617) 871-2930.

The ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value

The ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value brings together the most thoughtful leaders in business and healthcare to drive value-based healthcare. Working collaboratively with providers and purchasers, the Center will identify the best examples of revolutionary thinking both in the way care is delivered, and in the way it is reimbursed. The end result is greater value for patients and purchasers.