How a Multidisciplinary Team Used 3P Facilitation to Rethink Inpatient Care

Twenty-five employees from Renown Health, our client, came together for a week to imagine the future of inpatient care. Their CEO challenged them to design the care processes and spaces required to bring this vision to life — and to go well beyond simply doing better than what they do today.

Using the Virginia Mason Production System method of 3P (Production Preparation Process) facilitation, faculty member and lean facility design expert Chris Backous led this multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, technicians, pharmacists, supply chain leaders and allied health professionals to develop an “insanely great” vision worthy of their senior leader’s challenge. Today their innovative, patient-centered, forward-focused ideas are being incorporated into the design of the new inpatient floor while the team members engage others to move care processes forward, using their exciting new vision as the guide.

Virginia Mason Institute provides coaching and education to organizations to transform health care worldwide. Using the philosophy that is fundamental to Virginia Mason’s successes, the institute guides health care leaders as they lead culture change to improve patient safety, quality and efficiency.


  • Andy Howlett says:

    It sounds like this approach was used as part of the design of a new facility. Can the approach be used for existing facilities, which may not support ideal care processes, and if so, what process is used to agree compromises to the “ideal” model to apply it to the existing bricks & mortar?

  • Andrew E. says:

    It is commonplace to have individuals in meetings who have very strong opinions, and unfortunately good ideas can get overlooked when people acquiesce to avoid conflict. What is the method of deciding which specific process improvement actions should be taken, when there are several excellent potential options to choose from? Is 3P decision-making consensus based, management driven, or more flexible?

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