About Us

What we are

The mission of the Mater Lean Academy is to use the principles of Lean Six Sigma management and science to improve the quality of the healthcare experience for patients, their families and staff. The Academy, through its UCD Health Systems programmes offers quality improvement projects that incorporate consulting, coaching, and training services for all staff involved in healthcare delivery. Our Project work adopts a Person-centred approach to deliver process improvement in a healthcare environment. We offer a suite of Lean Programmes in Healthcare:

  • Fundamentals of Lean for Healthcare (White Belt): Intensive One-Day introduction to Lean Six Sigma for Healthcare NMBI accreditation 6 CEU’s
  • Professional Certificate in Lean Six Sigma for Healthcare (Green Belt): Understand the principles and philosophy of Lean and apply them in your own healthcare organisation. Six Month, part time programme NFQ Level: 8; ECTS credits: 10
  • Graduate Diploma in Lean Six Sigma for Healthcare (Black Belt): Develop process improvement, leadership, research and project management skills to drive the changes necessary for a successful Lean healthcare transformation within your organisation. 1-year part time programme. NFQ Level: 9; ECTS credits: 60

We believe that quality improvement initiatives that result in better patient care and increased provider margins directly correlate with, and are sustained by, the skills and knowledge possessed by all levels of healthcare professionals and support staff. The Academy draws on the experience of its participants, along with our Lean Six Sigma tutors and visiting lecturers from UCD. We apply innovative approaches to Lean Six Sigma learning and leadership, and we provide our programme participants with the support to pursue their project from pilot to implementation phase

Contact Us

The Mater Lean Academy is based within the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and is part of the Mater Transformation Office. If you have any queries on any of our programmes or initiatives, please do not hesitate to contact us:

- Transformation Office, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Eccles St., Dublin 7

- Tel: +353-1-8097461

- Email: aigoe@mater.ie

- Transformation Office, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Eccles St., Dublin 7

- Tel: +353-1-8097460

- Email: steeling@mater.ie

- Transformation Office, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Eccles St., Dublin 7

- Tel: +353-1-8097462

- Email: kmcdonnell@mater.ie

- Transformation Office, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Eccles St., Dublin 7

- Tel: +353-1-8607729

- Email: vkelly@mater.ie | leansixsigma@mater.ie

What is Lean Healthcare?

What is meant by “Lean thinking”? Lean means using less to do more. Lean thinking is not typically associated with healthcare, where waste of time, money, supplies, and good will is a common problem. But the principles of Lean management can, in fact, work in health care in much the same way they do in other industries. Many Healthcare organisations are successfully using Lean thinking to streamline processes, reduce cost, and improve quality and timely delivery of products and services. The seeds of Lean were sown by many different innovators but Toyota is credited as being the forefather of Lean as we know it today.
Waste of money, time, supplies, or good will decreases value. When applied rigorously and throughout an entire organisation, Lean principles can have a positive impact on productivity, cost, quality, and timely delivery of service. While sceptics are right when they say, “Patients are not cars,” healthcare is, in fact, delivered in extraordinarily complex organisations, with thousands of interacting processes, much like the manufacturing industry. Many aspects of the Toyota Production System and other Lean tools therefore can and do apply to the processes of delivering care.

Why Study with Us?

The Mater Lean Academy was the first Hospital in Ireland to offer University accredited, clinically based Lean Healthcare Programmes, led by experienced, qualified Healthcare Professionals who are also qualified Lean Six Sigma Green and Black Belts. Our UCD Health Systems Lean programmes include Leadership training by experienced Academic leaders, as we believe that merely going through the motions of learning Lean without the Leadership skills to lead on change initiatives is non-value add in itself. All of our Programmes have the advantage of immersing our students in the clinical system allowing first-hand experience of problem solving in a model 4 Tertiary Referral Academic Teaching Hospital. Our Programmes also include reference site visits to centres of Lean Excellence to further enhance the student experience.

Why use Lean?

  • Provides better patient care
  • Improves the patient experience
  • Offers better value for money processes
  • Ensures quicker access to diagnostics
  • Provides earlier effective treatment
  • Maximises business and income generation capacity
  • Minimises queues and waiting times
  • Optimises payment by results

The Lean approach greatly facilitated a Mater project team in putting together a new, more efficient care pathway for suspected acute stroke patients presenting to the Mater Emergency Department

Professor Sean Murphy (Consultant Physician in General Medicine, Medicine for the Older Person and Stroke)