The program titled, “Lean Healthcare 200: Applying the Fundamentals” was taught by a group from the Industrial Extension Service at NC State University. As the participants learned, Lean is not merely a set of practices, but rather a fundamental change in how the people within an organization think and what they value, thus transforming how they behave. The basic tenets of the Lean philosophy are:
- The patient comes first
- People are the most valuable resource
- Continuous improvement
- Focus on where the work is done
Learning about Lean is just part of the intensive year-long Clinical Quality track of the Institute for Physician Leadership. Other elements of the curriculum include quality improvement and root cause analysis; team-based care; and culture change. The first group of participants is made up of 10 teams of up to three members each, including at least one physician. The goal is for each team to contribute to excellence in health care quality within their practice setting.
The Clinical Quality program is just one of three educational offerings of the Institute for Physician Leadership. The second is the NCMS Leadership College, which offers NCMS members training in successful negotiation, effective communications, advocacy as well as other leadership skills. The third program of the Institute, projected to enroll its first class in 2014, will be the Health Care Management track, which will provide more in-depth training in emotional intelligence and business acumen.