A Lean Journey Is a Learning JourneyTM

In 2002, at the start of a journey to provide the perfect patient experience, Virginia Mason created the Virginia Mason Production System® (VMPS), a lean management methodology based on the principles of the Toyota Production System. In 2008, in response to a growing demand from health care organizations worldwide to understand and apply lean methods, Virginia Mason founded the Virginia Mason Institute, a nonprofit organization specializing in health care transformation.

Today, with more than a decade of application behind us, we know firsthand that translating lean into health care can be complex and time-consuming, and we want to share the lessons we’ve learned with health care leaders everywhere. Through education, coaching and facilitation, we work with clients worldwide to help them build the organizational capability they need to create and sustain a culture of continuous improvement — so that they, too, can succeed on their journey to achieve zero-defect health care and the perfect patient experience.


To relentlessly pursue the improvement of patient safety, patient experience, and the quality, cost and delivery of health care.


To be the primary resource and inspiration for those who seek to transform health care.


To inspire others to believe that zero-defect health care is possible while preparing and guiding health care professionals to dramatically improve their patients’ lives.

Our Approach

One of our overarching goals is to help organizations create value from their service — as defined from the patient’s perspective. Using the same philosophy and approach that is fundamental to Virginia Mason’s successes in quality care, Virginia Mason Institute’s approach in transformation is not to solve one-off problems, but to develop capabilities and train organizations in methods that will empower them to solve today’s and tomorrow’s problems.

Our Method

Virginia Mason’s management method engages leaders, providers and frontline staff to use lean tools and methods purposefully by focusing on improvements that advance quality, safety and value within the organization.

Proven Results

Recognized management method that enables organizations to achieve lasting quality, cost and delivery improvements

Health Care Focus

Superior services that help organizations always put the patient first

Lean Culture

A system of continuous improvement and waste elimination that is embedded in all levels of an organization

Our lean experts help organizations learn how to

  • Measurably increase patient safety and quality
  • Streamline efficiency of time-consuming health care processes
  • Introduce a culture that places blame on processes, not people
  • Enable providers to spend more time with their patients
  • Increase staff satisfaction and engagement
  • Embed the value of continuous improvement
  • Sustain successes and keep moving forward

The Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades ranked Virginia Mason in the top 2% of hospitals for quality, safety and efficiency.

Learn More About Our Experts

Our experts have 250+ combined years of experience implementing and sustaining lean methods.

Read More