Conference Committee

Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC)

  • Gary Kaplan
    Gary Kaplan
  • Kirsten Turner
    Kirsten Turner
    (Executive Director, Virginia Mason Institute)
  • Diane Miller
    Henry Otero
    (Senior Physician Faculty, Virginia Mason Institute)

Aso Iizuka Hospital (AIH)

  • Yutaka Aso
    Yutaka Aso
    (Chairman Aso Corporation)
  • Akihide Masumoto
    Akihide Masumoto
  • Hiromi Ando
    Hiromi Ando
    (Special Vice President)


Aso Iizuka Hospital Kaizen Promotion Office
Fumio Fukumura (Vice President, General Manager)
Nana Tateishi (Manager), Tanen Raku

Organization – Aso Iizuka Hospital

Aso Iizuka Hospital (AIH) was opened in 1918 and has almost 100 years of history. We have remained true to the founder, Takichi Aso's spirit "To bring together skilled physicians, and provide the best in medical treatment and provision of medicine for the people of the region". AIH plays an important role in the Fukuoka Chikuho region, an area of about 420 thousand people, with the Emergency and Critical Care Center, being designated as a regional medical care support hospital, key hospital for regional cancer care, and with the Perinatal Medical Center. We are doing our best to deliver the best "magokoro" (=sincere) care to local residents.

We also focus on the improvement and management of medical quality. In 1992, we started TQM activities as a pioneer among Japanese hospitals. In 2008, we were certified ISO9001. As a certified hospital, we are the largest ISO9001 certified hospital nationwide.

In 2010, Kaizen Promotion Office was started, and since then we have been working on Kaizen workshops and EK (Everyday Kaizen) which has developed various Kaizen methods. We continue Kaizen with the viewpoint of Patient First and the medical quality principle of "Japan's No.1 Magokoro Hospital".

Link to AIH webpage

Organization – Virginia Mason Medical Center

Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC) is located in Seattle, Washington. They provide safe and high quality medicine, and are known as one of America's top class medical facilities.

One of the main characteristics of VMMC is the Kaizen activity in the medical field. At VMMC, they developed their own management system called Virginia Mason Production System (VMPS), which was derived from the Toyota Production System. They are constructing a comprehensive Kaizen activity system for medical quality. In order to have the whole organization participate in this activity, there is a team called Kaizen Promotion Office (KPO) which is made up of 3 divisions; Admission division, Outpatient division and Management division. Their approach is to "promote VMPS", "educate and train staff", "sustain workplace activities to the whole hospital organization".

Kaizen activity's basis is to pursue the logical process and completely eliminate various waste in time, material and flow. Having "Patient First" as the most important concept, this is leading to shortening the waiting time of patients' examinations and operations, and maintains a high patient satisfaction rate.

Link to VMMC webpage