Problem Statement Definition
Virginia Mason Medical Center is a medical center located in Seattle, Washington. After a period of being unprofitable and declining morale amongst the staff there they tried to implement TQM and Six Sigma with limited results. During a chance encounter between a VMMC executive and a Boeing executive, VMMC was introduced to the Toyota Production System, TPS, which focused on eliminating waste, or the waste of overproduction, time, material, space, movement, and excess inventory. The TPS system adopted by VMMC became known as the Virginia Medical Production System, or VMPS. VMPS proved to be very successful within VMMC, cutting costs and improving quality in ...view middle of the document...
VMMC found that implementing the change over to the VMPS system challenging as they had a culture that lacked a shared vision, the expectations of the leadership and staff did not necessarily align, there was no urgency for change amongst some of the staff, and they had ineffectual leadership.
VMMC used the TPS philosophies and applied them to their healthcare system because they did not have an effective management approach that resulted in: putting the customer (patient) first, focusing on the highest quality care available, a passion for safety, highest staff morale and satisfaction, economic success for the organization, and being the healthcare quality leader in the field.
The VMPS system was designed to be lean, and it is what is required at VMMC if they are going to meet their goals of becoming the leader in quality healthcare management.
Healthcare is full of production processes. Admitting patients, clinical visits, surgery, post-op, billing are all processes that occur in a healthcare setting. Just as with manufacturing VMMC are concerned with safety, quality, customer well-being, staff satisfaction and cost effectiveness. There are other similarities as well. There can be defects in both systems, defects in the production system are easiest to fix as they arise and become more costly the further down the production pipeline they travel. The same is true at VMMC, but in their case defects can mean the matter between life and death. It is everyone’s responsibility to spot defects as they happen and try to offer solutions. In a healthcare environment this will save lives.
VMMC should continue with their goal of having a patient first system. The health and well being of the patient is paramount to their operation and everything follows that principal. VMMC should make every effort to being the leader in supplying quality healthcare to their customers.
VMMC needs to...