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Shift in hospital culture frees up time for nurses to spend with patients

A culture model pioneered by a US hospital and adopted by five NHS trusts is giving healthcare professionals greater opportunities for direct patient care
Japanese car production

An American approach to transforming hospital culture by improving quality and safety has been running in the NHS for a year. Five trusts in England have been using the US method, which was influenced by Japanese car production techniques.

The approach was influenced by Japanese car production techniques Photo: Alamy

The Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, Washington, designed a system to put patients at the centre of a healthcare organisation’s work. It adapted principles originally developed by Toyota to improve patient safety, patient experience and the quality, cost and delivery of healthcare.

Six years after the hospital began its mission of striving for zero-defect healthcare, in 2002 its staff set up the Virginia Mason Institute, a not-for-profit organisation which aims to help other healthcare providers transform practices.

Last June, health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced that the institute’s experts would work on a five-year partnership with


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