The four sessions from 2017-2022 resulted in 750K improved Veteran Experiences, >7 million in improved Employee Experiences and over 122 million in net cost benefits. The Improvement Advisor Academy’s success lends to re-instating the full academy. The Improvement Advisor Academy is a trailered training to prepare improvement professionals with the knowledge and skills to support the evaluation of healthcare services pertaining to providing quality, efficient care within a complex organization. The academy guides integrating methods and opportunities to change operational practices through improvements. The academy promotes operational proficiency among colleagues in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).
Problem: The Lean certification process within VHA is lengthy and requires progressive training attendance and project completion. The Improvement Advisor Academy is a fast track to Lean Black Belt certification through real-life project work and mentorship, gaining advanced improvement professionals for VHA.
Measurement: Measurement of the success of the program utilized improvement project outcomes, pre/post-student assessments, and surveys. The Lean 9 Box A3 (including multiple Lean tools) are utilized to gauge student competency of knowledge in conducting improvement project work.
Analysis: Analysis of the outcomes of the program included calculation of return on investment, both in costs and improved metric outcomes. In addition, student knowledge is assessed through pre/post assessments and 90-day and 360-day follow-ups outlining continued use of skills and involvement in improvement work (and outcomes).
Implementation: The Improvement Advisor Academy provides intensive instruction, mentoring, and self-paced learning. During COVID, these 4 face-to-face academy was paused with a session being offered in 2022 with a blend of face-to-face and virtual instruction. Lessons learned are the intensity of mentorship needed to support advanced Lean concept learning and application.