Keck Medicine of USC physicians, nurses and other staff members have been learning performance improvement techniques and developing leadership skills through an academy provided by the Value Improvement Office.

The Lean Academy is designed to help participants develop best practices by presenting them with simulations and real-life situations. Lean has become the leading improvement philosophy in health care over the last 15 years, and places like the Cleveland Clinic, Intermountain, Stanford and UCLA have adopted Lean as their improvement platform.

About 70 employees have graduated from the program since it began in October 2015 at Keck Medical Center of USC.

“Through the Lean Academy, we are able to develop a community of engaged problem-solvers to improve processes on a day-to-day basis, to improve the value of the care we deliver with more efficient processes and an improved patient experience,” said Felipe Osorno, executive administrator, Value Improvement Office at Keck Medicine of USC. “We are building a community of problem solvers, furthering our medical enterprise’s problem-solving capabilities and engaging staff members and physicians in making shared improvement decisions.”

Through the Lean Academy, participants learn how to identify opportunities for improvement in their area of focus, how to quantify those opportunities with Keck Medicine goals and then how to implement the solutions in their departments.

The workshops are developed and customized to Keck Medicine’s culture and are open to all administrators, managers, physicians and front-line staff members. Classes have not only attracted employees from across Keck Medicine, but also from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Henry Mayor Newhall Memorial Hospital and Grandcare Home Health Services.

Each Lean Academy program lasts about six months and requires 22 hours of training and coaching sessions at Keck Medical Center of USC. Participants work collaboratively to learn Lean principles while developing managerial and technical skills. Participants graduate as certified Lean practitioners and are required to create a capstone project. So far, 60 projects have been created and implemented across Keck Medicine of USC, with many delivering tremendous results.

The application period for the Fall session opens in August. Information about the application process will be released in July.

— Douglas Morino