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Lisa Yerian

Lisa Yerian

Medical Director of Continuous Improvement

Lisa Yerian, MD is Chief Improvement Officer and a Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary Pathologist at the Cleveland Clinic. She received a BS from the University of Notre Dame in 1996 and completed her medical degree, residency training in Anatomic Pathology and a fellowship in gastrointestinal and liver pathology at the University of Chicago-Pritzker School of Medicine. She joined the Cleveland Clinic in 2004 where she has held several pathology and health system leadership positions. In 2010 Dr. Yerian accepted the newly-created role of Medical Director of Continuous Improvement and in 2019 was named Chief Improvement Officer. She now leads a team of continuous improvement professionals engaged in building a culture of continuous improvement across the Cleveland Clinic Health System. Under her leadership the Cleveland Clinic Improvement Model (CCIM, www.clevelandclinic.org/improve) was developed, tested and refined as a roadmap for the entire organization to pursue a culture of improvement.

Dr. Yerian has authored over 150 manuscripts, articles and book chapters in the fields of pathology and continuous improvement. Her efforts have been recognized in multiple awards including the Association of American Medical Colleges Clinical Care Innovation Challenge Award (2016), and the Smart Culture Conference Buffalo Award (2018). She serves on the Board of Directors for the Lean Enterprise Insitutes and also for Catalysis. She speaks nationally and internationally on pathology and on the pursuit of continuous improvement in healthcare.


Articles by Lisa Yerian
How Are You Supporting Your Own Lean Transformation?
When someone in our organization complains about something we hand them a Kaizen card, shares Lisa Yerian of the Cleveland Clinic. Perhaps the same approach could apply to the broader challenge of improving the organizational ability to frame problems productively? More »
Cleveland Clinic’s Prescription for Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement
Lisa Yerian, MD, medical director of continuous improvement at the Clinic, talks about a “model area” approach to improvement, how initial “islands” of improvement linked up, results so far, and how a continuous improvement transformation is transforming her as a leader. More »
Stop Asking Your Leaders to "Support" Your Lean Transformation
Helping others with shared work tied to broad improvement goals can be challenging for lean leaders. Continuous Improvement Director Lisa Yerian of the Cleveland Clinic shares key ways that have been found to help: make clear and specific asks, establish exactly how to engage towards that end, and; experience, understand, and critically evaluate the situation before stepping in with support. More »