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Using Lean Performance Improvement for Patient-Centered Medical Home Transformation at an Academic Public Hospital

Wu, Shirley; Brown, Christopher; Black, Susan; Garcia, Michael; Harrington, Darrell W.

doi: 10.1097/JHQ.0000000000000197
Original Article

ABSTRACT Although Lean performance improvement (PI) has been used in health care for more than 15 years, little is known about how Lean has been used in Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) transformation. We describe our experience implementing Lean in our safety-net, primary care teaching clinic. To advance high value care, a culture of systematic, sustainable PI methods needed to be integrated into primary care and taught to resident physicians. Clinic leadership were trained in Lean methods, protected time was dedicated to PI for a stable, interdisciplinary team, then visual management was introduced, and resident physicians were integrated into the clinic's PI initiatives. Self-assessment using the PCMH Assessment tool demonstrated improvement in core features of the PCMH model. Process outcomes also revealed successful, sustainable integration of Lean into our primary care clinic and resident training, and early findings show improvements in clinical quality outcomes. Patient survey outcomes demonstrate improvement in patient experience. Lean can be used successfully to promote PCMH transformation and create a culture of continuous PI in an academic, safety-net primary care setting.

For more information on this article, contact Shirley Wu at

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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© 2019 National Association for Healthcare Quality
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