UC Berkeley Opens New Center to Help Achieve the Triple Aim

New facility to help university achieve the Triple Aim metric in healthcare.

The UC Berkeley School of Public Health announced its new Center for Lean Engagement and Research (CLEAR) in Healthcare. The center will identify new ways to transform healthcare delivery through continuous improvement strategies that enhance patient outcomes and reduce the growth in the cost of care.

“The Center for Lean Engagement and Research in Healthcare will help achieve the triple aim of better healthcare quality and patient experience, improved population health and reduced growth of healthcare costs,” said Stephen M. Shortell, PhD, professor and dean emeritus at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. “Our research will focus on lean methods designed to improve the healthcare system. We will examine new payment models that reward value, identify new ways to lead and manage healthcare organizations, and discover how care providers and health systems can create greater value for patients.”

CLEAR will conduct research on lean whole system transformation initiatives. Lean is a management and operational system that fosters a culture that empowers frontline workers to create value by eliminating waste, developing standard work and solving problems. CLEAR researchers will:

  1. Conduct research on lean in healthcare, beginning with the first national survey of lean in hospitals.
  2. Collaborate with specific healthcare organizations and health services researchers to study the effects of lean in particular organizations and departments.
  3. Facilitate research among other researchers and healthcare delivery organizations through resources and information available on the CLEAR website.

In addition, CLEAR will work with organizations that are in the process of implementing lean methodologies. Researchers will study implementation issues and identify solutions to help healthcare organizations become more efficient. Qualified researchers at leading universities and think tanks in the United States will be invited to submit research proposals to be jointly selected by lean organizational leaders and center directors.

“We are excited to support new lean research, which will lead to actionable knowledge and information healthcare leaders can use,” said Helen Zak, chief development officer at the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value.

The nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute, Rona Consulting Group, and ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value will provide funding support to the CLEAR program. CLEAR will be an affiliate of the Center for Healthcare Organizational and Innovation Research (CHOIR) at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health (www.choir.berkeley.edu). CHOIR is co-directed by Dr. Shortell and Hector Rodriguez, PhD, the Henry J. Kaiser Professor of Health Policy and Management, both of whom have done extensive research with healthcare organizations. Professor Emeritus Thomas Rundall will serve as co-director of CLEAR working with Professor Shortell. Professor Rundall has extensive experience working with and studying healthcare organizations.

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