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QI - Kaizen Promotion Office

The Kaizen (Ky-zan) Promotion Office (KPO), formerly Pursuing Excellence, leads the Five Hills Health Region's Lean Management System. Lean is a patient-first approach the puts the needs and values of patients and families at the forefront and uses proven methods to continously improve the health system. Is is unique in that it engages and empowers employees to generate and implement innovative solutions, and to fundamentally improve the patient experience on an ongoing basis.


Kaizen is a Japanese term that means "good change" or "improvement".


The KPO has three main functions: to provide planning and strategic direction for the organization; to provide the rules and tools of running kaizen events - making sure that all the events are run in the same way and are all supported; and to provide support for training and certification for all lean and kaizen events.


FHHR currently has 52 employees that are working to be certified as a Lean Leader.


What does it take to become a Lean Leader?


We are working with John Black & Associates (JBA) to develop lean leaders across the organization. The certification of selected leaders is included in the process. JBA's certification track requires participants to:


Take Value Stream Mapping Training (4-day learn do module)

Complete Lean Leader Training (3-day education module)

Complete a Module Deep Dive (10 key lean modules)

Complete a Module Marathon (demonstrate knowledge of modules through "teach backs")

Take a Team Lead and Sub Team Lead role in a Rapid Process Improvement Workshop (RPIW)

Service as a participant in an additional RPIW

Complete a Mistake Proofing Project

Complete a North American Tour for education and coaching on the mistake proofing project and visit another lean hospital in action (Virginia Mason and Seattle Children's Hospital)


The initial focus for lean leader certification is for senior leaders, the KPO and initially, three service lines in Moose Jaw Union Hospital. There will be opportunities for more health region staff to participate in lean training in the future. Currently, staff are encouraged to enroll in the Kaizen Basics course to obtain common background knowledge about lean.

• Quality of Care
• Kaizen Promotion Office (KPO)

• Patient Safety
• Releasing Time to Care™
• Voice of the Customer

Applying Lean Principles to Health Services

Institute for Healthcare Improvement

The Beryl Institute