Melanie Cline

Melanie Cline

Senior Advisor-Lean Healthcare



Melanie Cline, RN, MSN, LPC, serves as Senior Advisor-Process Improvement at Purdue Healthcare Advisors (PHA). In this role, she teaches and guides hospitals and healthcare agencies throughout Indiana and the Midwest to adopt lean methodologies. Melanie also has research responsibilities at the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering at Purdue University.

Previous to her position at Purdue, Melanie worked for five years as Director of Nursing Operations for IU Health-Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, where she led the design, clinical space design, and operational activation of the $400M Simon Family Tower. The work to introduce both Lean/Six Sigma and operational improvements in inpatient nursing, perioperative services, and ER services was influential in driving the entire health system to adopt lean as a strategy to transform the healthcare system. During her 30+ years at Riley Hospital, Melanie progressed in responsibility from staff nurse on the Infant Unit to managing the Toddler Unit to directing Pediatric Care Center 1 followed by the Pediatric Specialty Care Center. She also served briefly as Interim Chief Nursing Officer. In response to two reimbursement changes in 2013, Melanie led a care model redesign project that adjusted the nursing skill percentage mix from 95% registered nursing (RN) skill to 70%, thereby saving IU Health $1.9M while sustaining quality and service outcomes in the 90th percentile.

In addition to her extensive experience in operations Melanie also is an expert in nursing practice and clinical process improvement. She co-authored the Career Advancement Program at IU Health, which redefined and elevated nursing practice and served as the basis for the attainment of magnet status. Her work in leading a team to develop a bedside nursing report to engage patients and families in safe hand-offs resulted in Riley Hospital receiving the 2010 “Socius Award” from the National Patient Safety Foundation. Melanie has presented her work at national meetings and has published in nursing journals and nursing textbooks on the synergy model.

Melanie earned a Master of Science in Nursing from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Purdue University. She holds a Lean/Six Sigma Green Belt Certification.

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