Virginia mason

Satisfactory Essays
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 many areas of their operations. They found however that there were still many within the organization were not on board with the system, some based on their previous experience with TQM. Changing over to a system developed for manufacturing automobiles to work in a healthcare system became was the big challenge facing VMMC.

Situation Analysis
In 1998 and 1999 VMMC lost money for the first time in its existence. They were also faced with morale issues amongst their staff and formidable competition from other hospitals in their area. Dr. Gary Kaplan the CEO of VMMC was looking for a tool to implement a strategy that would address the challenges they were facing. After trying and dismissing QCM and looking at Six Sigma, a chance encounter led them to the Toyota Production System, TPS, a management method that focused on quality and efficiency.

TPS is based on the concept of Heijunka, evening out production to meet the fluctuations of demand and eliminating unnecessary inventory. Heijunka focused on eliminating waste, as it related to overproducti...

... middle of paper ...

...not have faith in the VMPS and thought that a system used for the production of automobiles could not be used in healthcare. There were still errors occurring as well, such as medications being mixed up that resulted in catastrophe. VMMC must continue with improving their system including further leadership development and education, aligning expectations of all of their staff members, holding everyone accountable, encouraging everyone to be on the front line of quality control and to be vocal with their ideas about improving the quality of the system. The “buddy system” that was initiated after the mix up of medications is a good example of continuing improvements to their system. If VMMC continues on their path towards achieving their lean management system, they will reach their goal of becoming the leader in quality lean management that they are striving to be.
Get Access