Value Stream Mapping: A Powerful Tool for Improving Healthcare Processes

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Tools, Techniques & Strategies for Change

Karen Martin
Principal, Karen Martin & Associates

Ric Van Der Linden
Principal, ProgressivEdge

Value Stream Mapping is a powerful Lean tool for "seeing the whole," analyzing the current state of a process and designing a future state. This visual blueprint for change provides critical information that is often not gathered through traditional process analysis techniques. In this interactive session, participants will assist in creating current and future state value stream maps and discuss the specific lean tools best suited for implementing the future state.

In this workshop, participants will learn the theory behind and step-by-step process for creating current and future state value stream maps and implementation plans. Participants will be given 11x17" value stream map templates and draw while the facilitators map the current state of patient flow through a fictional emergency department, including the macro-level process steps, information flow, relevant data and metrics that illustrate opportunities for improvement.

Following a 15-minute overview of Lean tools appropriate for improving patient flow and quality, participants will then create a future state map and implementation plan that outlines how the organization will transition from the current to the future state. To stimulate innovative thinking, the facilitators will show examples of standard work tools and simple visual aids that have been used to improve quality and reduce throughput time in many different settings.

The takeaways from this presentation will include current and future state value stream maps (hand drawn by the participants) and an implementation plan. The PowerPoint slides will include electronic versions of completed maps, a list of lessons the facilitators have learned as they've facilitated value stream mapping with hundreds of participants and key success factors for creating meaningful, actionable maps.

Note: This presentation requires a room with wall space to accommodate 10 feet of plotter paper and room for the facilitators to walk around. Classroom style seating (with tables) works better than theater style.)