The Thinking Behind Lean Immersion

An AHA/University of Berkeley survey of hospitals on Lean healthcare adoption found that you are not alone in wanting to explore the kind of process improvement that the manufacturing industry has relied on for decades. But the healthcare industry, as bad as it needs lean in today's consumer-driven climate, comes with a specific set of challenges that make it difficult for lean to thrive and grow.

Making lasting improvements in healthcare is difficult because of the complex processes, subtle people-to-people interactions, and behavior change challenges that must be addressed simultaneously. Most improvement methodologies fail to encompass all of these dimensions and struggle to achieve sustainable impacts. 

Leaders Everywhere Challenge

Purdue Healthcare Advisors (PHA), the applied arm of the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering at Purdue University, has been educating the healthcare industry on the power of lean methodologies since 2005. Our online Lean Immersion program breaks ground by targeting healthcare-specific challenges — think burnout, emotional intelligence, patient engagement, and the patient experience — with instruction, coaching, and award-winning* learning techniques that incorporate both process and people skills to sustain your gains.

Pairing process improvement with people skills

Lean Immersion introduces Lean Daily Improvement (LDI) and Lean Behavior Change (LBC) to address challenges unique to healthcare. The two methodologies work in tandem to create the small, daily, coordinated changes in process, skills, and behaviors needed to sustain evidence-based best practices.

Lean Daily Improvement — Lean tools such as Rapid Improvement Events (RIEs), Value Stream Mapping (VSM), and Lean Six Sigma are valuable, but we found that these tools aren't right for everybody in an organization...at least not at first. From a section of the lean toolbox that can be easily accessed and used on all kinds of projects, LDI leaves out the more advanced lean tools in favor of instruction on how to make systematic, small-step changes while work is being done and to sustain the gains that have been made. 

It's is great for organizations just starting to incorporate lean or those that want to increase their lean capacity.

LDI is resonating with our clients, who say they are "taking LDI and running with it." They've told us that LDI is a great system for implementing and hardwiring a well-scoped improvement change; it makes it easy to see quick improvements with large impacts; and that it's their best tool for making improvements in short periods of time.

Lean Behavior Change — Developed in response to hospital administrators frustrated by the traditionally low return on a training investment, LBC trains clinicians, administrators and front line staff to understand the concepts of interpersonal skills and then translate them into action when working with patients and care teams. 

LBC bypasses the learning-transfer problem with a innovative, micro-learning approach called kCards that breaks content (abstract concepts and skills) into small actions or experiments to try while working. This helps trainees retain information as they move from the classroom back to the workplace. 


*The innovative thinking that spawned kCards, or knowledge cards, received a warm reception from hundreds of students studying leadership skills at Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies, and won a Harvard Business Review/McKinsey M-Prize for Management Innovation.


Related links:

Purdue News Release 11/12/18: Purdue Healthcare Advisors extends lean training to a nationwide market with the launch of its first online, lean process improvement course