Lean and Green
In 2002, Virginia Mason embarked on an ambitious, system-wide program to change the way it delivers health care and improve patient safety and quality. It did so by adopting the basic tenets of the Toyota Production System (TPS), calling it the Virginia Mason Production System, or VMPS. While some medical centers have initiated projects using TPS, Virginia Mason is the first to integrate the Toyota management philosophy throughout its entire system. Naturally, we used VMPS to design and implement EnviroMason, our "lean and green" sustainability initiative.
How VMPS Works
Virginia Mason's vision is to be the Quality Leader in health care. Key to accomplishing this is understanding that staff who do the work know what the problems are and have the best solutions. VMPS strategies range from small-scale ideas tested and implemented immediately, to long-range planning that redesigns new spaces and processes. Sustainability reduces our impact on the environment and protects our patients' health.
Virginia Mason uses several continuous improvement activities, such as Rapid Process Improvement Workshops (RPIWs) and kaizen events focused on incremental changes, as well as 3P workshops intended to completely redesign a process. Virginia Mason has held 850 continuous improvement activities involving team members, patients and guests. Many of these continuous improvement activities result in sustainability improvements.