Health ministry ends lean program

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January 6, 2015 9:03 AM

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health is ending its contract with John Black and Associates (JBA) to support the implementation of lean across the provincial health system.

Collectively, the province’s health regions and health care organizations have acquired sufficient knowledge and training that they are now in a position to make the final move toward self-sufficiency and take ownership of this ambitious initiative. Currently, more than 200 health system staff have received their lean leader certification. These leaders will take over the role of training other staff and leading continuous improvement events.

“While our relationship with JBA has been very worthwhile in terms of improving health service delivery and reducing costs in our health care system, we feel we have now reached a point where we can move forward on our own and, in doing so, we will be able reduce costs associated with continuing the JBA contract,” Health Minister Dustin Duncan said in a news release.

The contract was originally scheduled to conclude in June 2015, with the option for an extension to September 2015. The Ministry of Health has given notice to end the contract in 90 days, at the end of March 2015.

“We are strongly committed to continuing our Lean journey throughout the health system,” Duncan said. “Moving up the end date for the contract will mean that the transition to managing the quality improvement work within our internal capacity will happen more swiftly.”

The government said the lean management has been transformational for the Saskatchewan health care system – an initiative of this scale has not been undertaken anywhere in the world. They added that the investment will continue to yield benefits for Saskatchewan residents and patients for many years to come.

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