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Jul 24, 2012

Veterans Health Administration Steadily Increasing Use of Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement to Support Its Systems Redesign Initiative

NOVACES is Providing Consulting Services for Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement Training and Projects at Various VISNs and VA Hospitals Including Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, Fargo VA Medical Center and North Chicago VA FHCC Medical Center.

July 24, 2012 New Orleans, LA -- Troop drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan and impending cuts in number of troops directed by the DoD has created an urgent need for business transformation within the VA hospital system that supports our veterans after they have transitioned back to civilian life. Among the various improvement strategies for the VHA is the Systems Redesign, which aims to improve healthcare quality and access to care for veterans.

Systems Redesign leadership in the VHA has been using the process improvement methodology called Lean Six Sigma, which in the last decade has become a key management strategy and driver of change for civilian hospitals, to provide fundamental quality and process improvement tools to the teams who are leading transformation efforts within the VA Medical Centers.

Fargo VA Medical Center could be considered one of the more advanced VA medical centers in terms of adoption of Lean Six Sigma. The organization held a workshop in 2012 on how to manage improvement initiatives, which included an overview of the Lean Six Sigma methodology. Since then, the adoption of Lean Six Sigma has been steadily growing within the organization.

To develop the program from its early stages, leaders of Fargo VA Medical Center Systems Redesign contracted with NOVACES, a management consulting firm that specializes in performance improvement for veteran healthcare, for guidance on how to incorporate the VA High Performance Development Model and Veterans Health Administration System Redesign objectives.

“The right blend of Systems Redesign, TAMMCS, Lean Six Sigma and PDSA in a collaborative setting creates an environment for VA medical centers, like the one being experienced in Fargo, that promotes the kind of improvements needed to continue providing our nation’s veterans with the very highest quality healthcare services,” said retired U.S. Navy Captain Charles Mount, director of government healthcare services at NOVACES.

Other VA healthcare facilities, including VISN 8 Bay Pines VA Medical Center and North Chicago VA James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) are also rigorously investing in Lean Six Sigma by training staff and leadership and completing improvement projects that are aligned with strategic plans.

Similar to the widespread adoption of Lean Six Sigma in civilian healthcare, healthcare performance improvement experts promote the rigor and analytical capabilities of this healthcare process improvement methodology to also drive the tremendous amount of change that the currently strained VHA healthcare system must undergo to meet the demand for care generated by the nation’s 22 million veterans.


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