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Massey Launches Health Care Management Alliance

The Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business recently entered a national partnership with Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) and Nashville-based Healthcare Performance Partners (HPP) to offer a certificate program in Toyota Production System (TPS)/Lean-based healthcare process improvement. Courses will be offered on the Belmont University campus four times per year, and participants in the five-day course will utilize new facilities within Belmont’s College of Health Sciences. The first course is set for Nov. 10-14, 2008.
Lean Healthcare for Quality, Safety and Efficiency Certificate Program will include instruction by national health care management experts including Dr. David Munch, chief clinical and quality officer for Lutheran Exempla Medical Center and Charles Hagood, CEO of Healthcare Performance Partners. Each course is limited to 30 registrants, allowing for a decidedly hands-on learning approach within Belmont’s state-of-the-art health care training facilities. A portion of the training will involve use of health science simulation labs designed to mirror the realities of acute care “step down” units, as well as maternity and pediatric nursing units.


The Massey School has built its reputation for delivering high-quality graduate business programs to working professionals through a focus on the continuous improvement of management practice—an approach clearly aligned with this new partnership. PRHI’s nationally recognized adaptation of Toyota’s methods for health care, Perfecting Patient Care, has been delivered to thousands of health care professionals throughout the U.S. And HPP, along with its affiliate Lean Healthcare West, is widely known for its specialization in TPS/Lean training and coaching for U.S. healthcare clients. HPP recently expanded its training and consulting operations into European markets as well. The new certificate program combines the strengths of all partners and paves the way for the alliance to expand capacity for coaching TPS/Lean in healthcare institutions pursuing quality improvement. “We are delighted to partner with the two leading national experts in lean healthcare for this innovative program. This represents a tremendous opportunity to serve our local and national communities by helping to improve the quality of U.S. healthcare,” said Massey School Associate Dean Joe Alexander.
Use of TPS/Lean methods in health care is predicted to expand significantly over the next decade due to increasing pressures on U.S. healthcare institutions to improve both patient safety and quality. Medicare, for example, plans to begin denying payment for some healthcare-acquired infections and egregious medical errors, and their soon-to-be phased-in payment practices are aimed at improving safety while also reining in runaway costs. National estimates are that nearly 40 percent of U.S. healthcare spending is wasted on treating complications from preventable errors and infections, as well as duplicative testing and inefficiency, among other things. One recent Commonwealth Fund study ranked U.S. health care highest in cost among international competitors, but last on safety, quality, access, efficiency and outcomes.
“Quality is no longer optional,” said PRHI President and Chief Executive Officer Karen Wolk Feinstein, PhD. “Our healthcare systems in the United States, although at the frontiers of medicine and technology, rank among the world’s worst on cost, safety and efficiency. This partnership is about changing that. We want to give our healthcare workers the tools for perfecting patient care, using scarce human and material resources optimally, and meeting the escalating requirements for quality by payers and regulators.”
“There’s no doubt the incentives of health care are shifting, and that’s a wake-up call,” said HPP CEO and Massey MBA Alumnus Charles Hagood. “Payers are increasingly demanding value, and HPP and PRHI have both helped demonstrate just how powerful TPS and Lean can be as tools for eliminating the waste, error and inefficiency that have made health care so costly. Our partnership will help provide for speedier and more dramatic transformations in work redesign and performance improvement.”
Following the initial course in November, subsequent course dates are set for Feb. 23-27 and May 4-8, 2009. Additional registration information is available at www.belmont.edu and/or http://www.buleancourse.com.

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