Lean for Rural Healthcare

Lean Healthcare for Rural Health

For many of the grant initiatives shepherded by Purdue Healthcare Advisors, we serve practices, hospitals and clinics located in rural and sometimes extremely remote areas of Indiana and Oregon. Serving the needs of small and under-resourced providers (SURP) who are underserved by other consultants is part of our mission as a non-profit, outreach program of Purdue University.

Taking lean training for healthcare online

Because we've worked with hundreds of rural providers, we know how difficult it is for you to find the time and resources to embed lean in your organization. So we invested in the creation of PHA Direct, an e-learning platform that allows us to provide convenient, online lean training and certification to clinicians, administrators, practice managers, front/back office workers, and others. 

We want to ensure our evidence-based lean strategies find their way to organizations struggling to adapt to a rapidly changing healthcare environment, and we want to do it in a way that is sensitive to rural providers' time constraints and budgets.

Utilizing SHIP improvement funds to train

We've had success over the years working with hospitals in Indiana and Oregon through funding from the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant Program (SHIP) for our Lean Healthcare Transformation Initiative, now in its fourth year. We've also worked on several lean initiatives with rural practices, clinics and hospitals enrolled in the Great Lakes Practice Transformation Network, a CMS-funded program that we manage for Indiana. Our successes led to the launch of PHA Direct and our first online course ― Lean Daily Improvement Facilitator Training and Certification.

The estimated SHIP award amount is $12K per eligible hospital per year over a project period of four years. Total SHIP funding to be awarded in June of 2019 is estimated at $18M+. As you plan your application for 2019 SHIP funding or find yourself with professional development monies from another source, consider our Lean Daily Improvement online course as a way to extend those dollars. Contact PHA's Allison Bryan-Jungels to find out more. You can also download this flyer.

Equipping rural providers with basic lean tools through Lean Daily Improvement

Lean Daily Improvement (LDI) equips healthcare professionals with robust lean techniques to make approved, systematic changes while work is being done. Unlike Rapid Improvement Events, Value Stream Analysis or Lean Six Sigma, LDI is a method that provides the least amount of disruption to the workday because it occurs at the point of service.

Trained LDI Facilitators know how to choose a key performance metric; collect and display data visually; run team huddles to get to root causes; assign corrective actions; and keep the process moving. Online learning, access to a community of practice with a repository of real-world success stories, and remote coaching by lean experts make LDI a smart choice for resource-constrained organizations that want to boost quality metrics.

We have witnessed excellent outcomes implementing LDI over the past few years to help hospitals comply with quality improvement activities. With LDI, our clients expressed a high level of front-line staff engagement, felt it enabled team members to quickly grasp the power of lean, and saw an almost immediate effect on metrics/measures. Most have gone on to spread LDI throughout their organization. Online LDI learners benefit from both training and remote coaching.


Allison Bryan-Jungels
Allison Bryan-Jungels
Senior Advisor-Business/Client Development; GLPTN Indiana Program Manager and Network QI Lead

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 496-1911

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