UAH ‘on leading edge’ in offering Lean Healthcare practices course

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(April 11, 2014)- The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is on "the leading edge of higher education institutions nationally" by combining its research, educational and training functions to offer Lean process instruction to healthcare practitioners, says a nationally known Lean instructor.

Dr. Hugh McManus, senior special projects engineer at Metis Design and associate director of the LAI (Lean Advancement Initiative) Educational Network (EdNet), travels extensively to train the trainers who will be giving instruction in Lean principles.

Dr. McManus was on campus April 3 for a course to familiarize university staff, graduate students and Huntsville Hospital representatives with the one-day training so they could instruct others. UAH is a charter member of EdNet, which was founded at and collaborates with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

"UAH has worked with LAI for 10 years. Our initial interface with LAI was expanding the Lean concepts into the aerospace and defense market," said Dr. Kenneth Sullivan, a Research Institute principle research engineer and founding director of the UAH LAI center.

UAH's Research Institute has a cooperative agreement with Huntsville Hospital to train its employees in Lean principles and will be integrating EdNet's Lean Healthcare simulation into the UAH Lean Healthcare curriculum in conjunction with student-led projects and applied research. The instruction is also available for other interested healthcare practitioners and entities.

"The basic purpose of this course is to introduce healthcare providers to these Lean concepts using their own language," Dr. McManus said. "There's a necessity to translate some of the concepts themselves into terms that healthcare workers find familiar."

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