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Improving Patient Safety & Care 2020 - Partner Profile - Virginia Mason Institute

Updated: Nov 29, 2019


Who are Virginia Mason Institute?


Part of the Virginia Mason Health System – a pioneer in continuous healthcare improvement – Virginia Mason Institute specialises in partnering with organisations and delivering bespoke services. From seminars, speaking engagements and training sessions, to leadership retreats, improvement workshops, and multi-year transformation partnerships, Virginia Mason Institute provides a wide range of services to help any organisation – regardless of where they are in their improvement journey. Partners can rely on the Institute’s deep experience in culture change, leadership development, and quality improvement tools and methods, and can expect to be challenged, inspired, and prepared to deliver the highest quality and efficient care through creating a sustainable culture of respect and improvement.


How has Virginia Mason Institute improved patient safety and care across the health sector?


At Virginia Mason Institute we partner with organisations and executive leadership teams to develop and adopt a patient-centred management system to dramatically improve quality, safety and efficiency – with the ultimate goal of enabling and supporting the creation of a sustainable culture of continuous improvement. Some of the outcomes we have come to expect from partnership are:

• Evidence that all levels of the organisation actively put the patient first in all of their decisions

• Presence of the leadership skills and infrastructure needed to reframe organisational culture — so that continuous improvement and waste elimination are part of everyone’s daily work.

• Team members that are engaged and skilled in solving problems for themselves — in an environment where they are expected and encouraged to do so.


What has been your greatest achievement to date? And were there any measurable outcomes that accompanied this achievement?


We have been partnering with the NHS for over a decade and one of our key learnings has been the importance of an NHS Trust having a high-functioning management system. One of the major benefits to being a part of the NHS is having access to many programmes and resources at a national level that provide you with a wealth of data and best practices that you can – and at times are mandated – to leverage. However, what often occurs is that a Trust establishes separate teams focusing on these various programmes and those teams are not aligned with the overall strategy and quality improvement efforts of the Trust. This approach leads to work happening in silos, confusion, and competing priorities, and does not fully optimise what these programmes have to offer. Therefore, central to our approach, and one of the biggest impacts we have had when partnering with NHS Trusts, is to help them to establish their own

management system to align all of these programmes and national requirements with their vision, mission, and goals.

Additional improvement highlights from our current partnerships across the UK include:

• Achieving an Outstanding rating from their last Care Quality Commission inspection

o Quote from Chief Executive: “This wouldn’t have been possible without our strong partnership with Virginia Mason Institute, where we have truly learned to understand the value of continuous improvement.”

• Largest ever financial surplus in Trust history

• Multiple Heath Service Journal Patient Safety Awards

• Highest scoring acute NHS Trust for five key findings, and in the top five acute Trusts for 17 findings in total

• Staff engagement – second highest score in the NHS

• Recommended as place to work – third highest score in the NHS

• All Chief Executives are fully committed to approach


How many organisations/clients currently utilise the service/solution across the UK?


We partner with healthcare organisations all over the world and have a long history of adding value in UK health systems, and we are currently engaged in long-term transformation partnerships with 5 NHS acute care trusts:

• Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

• University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

• The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust

• Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

• The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

All of our current partner trusts have compelling examples of culture change, building internal capability for improvement, and team members at all levels engaging in improvement. You can learn more about our NHS partnership via the following links:

• https://improvement.nhs.uk/resources/virginia-mason-institute/

• https://www.virginiamasoninstitute.org/2016/05/nhs-partnership-with-virginia-mason-institute/

Outside of long-term transformation partnerships, we have also provided bespoke training and have supported focused improvement efforts to many organisations across the UK. Currently we also provide recurring open training sessions offered in London, UK on topics such as creating a shared vision, visible and committed leadership, and quality improvement tools and methods.


What do you feel are the key points delegates need to digest when considering a partnership with Virginia Mason Institute?


Whilst there are an incredible number of factors to consider when looking to change culture at an organisational level, our aim is to leverage our experience to help our partners focus their efforts on what will provide the most value, and to effectively navigate through all of the complexities. At a high level, we do this through:

• Inspiring – providing real and relevant examples of operational excellence and what is possible;

• Preparing – sharing best practices and providing training and support to develop skills at all levels;

• and Guiding – providing on-going coaching, mentorship and support as your organisation works to establish its own expertise and approach.


If you would like to learn more about Virginia Mason Institute please visit https://www.virginiamasoninstitute.org/

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