TableĀ 1

Key strategies for VMPS

Unrelenting focus on the patientAll activities are evaluated by whether or not they add value from the patient's perspective, a unifying shared vision
Uniform improvement methodA common language and approach used by all, for us, Lean
A strategic plan that serves as the organisation's compassStrategic plan is highly visible, presented at the start of all improvement and management meetings, with the relevance of that meeting to the strategic plan defined
Integration of daily management and quality improvementThe same teams and the same tools for daily management and quality improvement. In effect, all management is quality improvement, which is critical to sustain gains
Leadership present on the shop floor, understanding and supporting teamsLeaders can best know what is going on in the organisation, and can best coach and support teams when physically present where the work is occurring
Daily leader routines that are transparent and predictableLeading by example requires standard work by leaders, and transparency promotes bidirectional accountability for managers and staff
Respect for peopleAll staff are empowered to contribute to improvement, and all are valued for their contribution to the institution
Physician, leadership and board compactsReciprocal agreements between the institution and physicians, leaders and board members defining the responsibilities and expectations for all parties.
A visual environment so one easily sees operational conditionsWork is made open and visible so that any problems become apparent and can be addressed in real time. Production dashboards are publicly displayed
Long-term thinkingConstancy of purpose among leadership, ensuring continuity independent of specific individuals
AlignmentAlignment from the board of directors through frontline staff. All must understand the unwavering commitment to the patient focus and the VMPS method
  • VMPS, Virginia Mason Production System.