The Lean Healthcare Certificate Program is designed for those medical professionals who desire to help create and lead a culture of continuous improvement throughout their organization.


Why Lean Healthcare?

Lean Healthcare is a proven methodology that focuses on enhancing “real work” — what is really of value in every facet of your healthcare organization and the patient experience — and fundamentally changing how people throughout your entire organization will think, approach problems, and take on daily challenges.

Rigorous application of Lean Healthcare can:

  • Improve patient care
  • Reduce patient waiting times and create safer hand-offs
  • Increase efficiency in the pharmacy, labs, and administrative departments

Lean Healthcare is the transformative pathway where management and employees alike embrace a culture of continuous improvement, making it part of their daily work.

Why a Lean Healthcare Certificate?

The Lean Healthcare Certificate Program is an intellectually rigorous experience where classroom instruction is replaced by one-on-one coaching, mentoring, and hands-on, learn-by-doing.

Upon acceptance to the program, you, along with your Lean Coach, will begin work on a project within your organization which will apply Value Stream Mapping, 5S, Kaizen, A3, and other lean tools. As you navigate through the requirements of each project step, your organization will make significant productivity and quality gains while you gain the experience and confidence to lead your own Lean Healthcare Kaizen event.

Upon receiving your certificate your organization will have:

  • measurable improvements in productivity, quality and capability
  • improved quality, reduced costs and improved patient satisfaction
  • a proven pathway to lean transformation
  • begin a long-term culture of sustainable continuous improvement
  • an experienced, in-house, Lean Healthcare leader/mentor

Your Lean Healthcare Certificate will be awarded after successful completion your in-house project, assessment of the projects by a board of lean experts, and confirmation of project outcomes by your supervisor or director.

Project Requirements

  • A Value Stream Map must be created using a multi-level team of at least 4 team members. The map must be of some type of process in your organization, can include administrative, business, support services, etc. The candidate must present a current state of the process, a future state of the process and a plan/timeline for implementation of the suggested changes.
  • A kaizen event using a lean tool, like 5S, Standard Work, Quick Changeover, etc., must be completed. This kaizen needs to relate back to the Value Stream Map and should provide measureable impact to the process. The kaizen team must consist of at least 4 team members and include multi-level, multi-discipline personnel.
  • A reflection by the candidate needs to be completed. This reflection should include what the candidate’s facilitation/lean strengths are, the weakness of the candidate and a personal plan for improving their skills.
  • The Value Stream Map and kaizen event should show measureable result. A plan for improvement sustainability should also be included in the final report out.
  • The candidate should have the reports in an A3 format with additional/supporting information included in either a power point or hand out. The PDCA or PDSA of the Value Stream Map and Kaizen should be included.
  • The reports would need to be submitted to NC State two weeks prior to the actual candidate report out.
  • All project work must be completed prior to the final presentation. This includes the VSM, kaizen with 30/60/90 day review, and a final measureable impact.
  • Failure to meet all requirements will result in a non-certification.

Designed for:

The Lean Healthcare Certificate Program is for medical professionals who not only embrace Lean Healthcare as the transformative pathway to improve patient care, but also those gifted individuals who can mentor their co-workers in the skills they need to continuously change and improve their organization, be it a clinic, hospital, physician’s office, nursing home, laboratory, ER or administrative department.


Program enrollment will be limited only to those individuals who have successfully completed the following:

Those accepted will have two years to complete the program and receive their certificate.

The program will be facilitated by  Improvement Specialists from the NC State University Industrial Extension Service. Our facilitators, experienced in Lean Healthcare, have worked with North Carolina healthcare alliances, associations and providers to bring attention to lean and how it applies in healthcare organizations. Our Specialists have worked with healthcare clients to create pathways for their lean journeys, while teaching lean tools and process improvements that lead to organizational transformation.