Medical case managment – Term Paper

Problem and Analyzing Strategy of Virginia Mason Hospital

Problem identification

Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle had failed to perform well in the 2000s leading to low returns, low patient satisfaction, treatment errors and poor staff morale. These problems had experienced poor results destroying its reputation and doing badly as a business. There needed to be a change effected to improve the hospital operation by offering quality and safety as the highest priorities.

Analyzing Strategy

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To solve the problem, various strategies have to be adopted to eliminate wastage in overproduction, transportation, processing, motions, defects, time and inventory. The first strategy is to understand the issues that face the staff and get its solution from them. They are the people who have first-hand experience in handling patient cases, and for this reason, they understand the problems that they face and how it can be solved (Nelson-Peterson & Leppa, 2007). The second strategy is to immediately implement small-scale ideas until long-range planning is designed for new processes and spaces. Although positive change would be realized faster, it means that long-term goals are also possible.

Through the Virginia Mason Production System (VMPS), the management can adopt a paradigm shift of expecting defect and errors to believe in perfect patient experience. Various continued improvement activities including rapid process improvement workshop and Kaizen events and 3P workshop should be put in place to focus on incremental changes redesigning the process. Continuous improvement activities that involve guest, patients and staff should also be conducted regularly to identify new areas of improvements (Brandao de Souza, 2009).

The patient care as one if strategy of Medical managment

The strategies would make sure that patient spends more value-added time with providers where the provider would be assisted by VMPS to deliver best possible care. Patient safety will be improved with reduced delays in seeing physicians with timely result and treatment improving care. Virginia Mason staff would receive more benefits as they will have greater opportunities to care for patients and less rework. As wastefulness is reduced in administrative processes that supported patient care, valuable resources would be used to benefit customers (Mazzocato, Savage, Brommels, Aronsson & Thor, 2010). As the hospital is set as a nonprofit organization, savings would be reinvested in supporting Virginia Mason mission of improving patient well-being and health.

Use of technology is among the VMPS new strategy to quality and safe patient care. One of them is the use of Patient Safety Alert system that would require all the staff who meet a case likely to harm patient to report immediately and cease other action that may increase the harm. If there is any patient risk involved, there would be an immediate investigation launched to correct it. The reports can be processed in 24 hours marking a significant improvement in patient safety and reducing professional liability claims. As the cases of patient with cancer increase today, a one-stop care can be established to redesigned the laboratory and pharmacy to eliminate the need for patients to bureaucracy in the hospital before getting chemotherapy. The cancer services would be brought directly to the patientts private treatment room. The system would reduce the time used, and distance moved in each visit. Another strategy is to get back to nursing by increasing the time they spend directly with the patient (Mazzocato, Savage, Brommels, Aronsson & Thor, 2010). Rapid Process Improvement Workshops can be used to evaluate nursest work and make improvements. They can work as teams instead of with care technicians in groups located near each other to allow easy monitoring and attendance to patient needs. It would reduce walking distance.

An alternative solutions for Virginia Mason Hospital

Alternative Solution

One of the alternative solutions is setting a hyperbaric center in the hospital to increase patient capacity. Instead of building new centers to house larger chambers for the patient needing treatment, VMPS tool can be used to design and build a new hyperbaric center in the existing space. This will reduce construction costs and increase capacity at the same time. The second solution would be adopted specific treatment in the emergency department. In most hospitals, the emergency department represents the highest entry point for hospitals facing a bottleneck. Additionally, it involves longer waiting time and is more expensive. VMPS as lean management procedure can be used to predict the right staffing levels during high demand (Mazzocato, Savage, Brommels, Aronsson & Thor, 2010). Standard clinical assessment tools can be applied to identify fast and sort patients’ care need when implemented. This means that those who require slight services can get specific treatment and then discharged without necessarily occupying patient-care beds. Such processes would open more capacity for patients who need more extensive care services.


Primary care is one of the sectors that leads to loss of money in many hospitals. For this reason, the management needs to realign staff work and improve the patient experience. The analysis should be made on patient and providers flow. Fundamental changes should then be made to match primary care patient needs. Additionally, service rooms should be made equipped to meet needed supplies enabling the service providers to see more patients in a shorter period with better quality care. The process would reduce time staff use to see patients (Brandao de Souza, 2009). The hospital would achieve consistent positive net margins as well as see more patients without a sacrifice in time spent with each patient.


Brandao de Souza, L. (2009). Trends and approaches in lean healthcare. Leadership in health services, 22(2), 121-139.

Mazzocato, P., Savage, C., Brommels, M., Aronsson, H., ; Thor, J. (2010). Lean thinking in healthcare: a realist review of the literature. Quality and Safety in Health Care, 19(5), 376-382.

Nelson-Peterson, D. L., ; Leppa, C. J. (2007). Creating an environment for caring using lean principles of the Virginia Mason Production System. Journal of nursing administration, 37(6), 287-294.