Submission Type



Physician and other healthcare learners and clinicians must prepare to assume an active role in the design, implementation, and improvement of emerging models of health care delivery while concurrently improving quality, workflow efficiency and safety. While these expectations are building, few practicing clinicians have training or experience with these challenges. Maine Medical Center’s Operational Excellence Team builds on a framework of Lean Thinking, the Model for Improvement* and PDSA cycles** to advance improvement capacity among care teams across our organization. Interprofessional Teams are coached to use proven tools and techniques to identify and remove barriers to care and establish sustainable workflow improvements. MMC’s growing portfolio of improvement work bears witness to the success of this effort, and promises advancing capacity for improvement work across our organization.

The storyboards selected for presentation below reflect the complexity of our academic medical center, and illustrate how interprofessional teams are leveraging Operational Excellence as a platform for making sustainable improvements.


*Langley GL, Nolan KM, Nolan TW, Norman CL, Provost LP. The Improvement Guide: A Practical Approach to Enhancing Organizational Performance (2nd edition). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers; 2009.

**The Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle was originally developed by Walter Shewhart as the Plan-do- Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. W Deming modified Shewhart’s cycle to PDSA, replacing “Check” with “Study”. (See Deming WE. The New Economics for Industry, Government and Education. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press 2000.)



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