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Every year, healthcare institutions around the country spend millions of dollars on consultants who help analyze and improve processes. Clinical transformation at the Center for Learning and Innovation  (CLI) allows Northwell Health managers to avoid such expenses by learning the philosophy, methodology and use cases for various operational performance solutions, and by directly engaging the clinical transformation team for on-site projects and initiatives. Clinical transformation is a resource for facility and system leadership, whether they are undertaking new programs or rectifying operational performance issues. 

Clinical transformation can help refine processes, which in many cases optimizes performance, yields savings, increases revenue and improves customer and employee satisfaction. Individuals and teams attending CLI can learn clinical transformation methodologies and develop an action plan for implementation at their worksite. Courses teach the concepts, methodology and techniques necessary for implementation.

Six Sigma

Northwell uses Six Sigma methodology to improve processes, manage costs and increase employee satisfaction. The Six Sigma methodology, which has proven to be broadly effective across numerous industries, enables healthcare providers to measure how many errors or defects occur in an existing process. During a Six Sigma project, a systematic approach is used to reduce or eliminate issues leading to the defects, getting as close as possible to zero defects in the process under review. Benefits are eventually recognized in lower costs and enhanced services.


This clinical transformation program takes its name from the concept of eliminating fat. Lean analyzes flow and delay-time for each activity in a process and separates activities that yield value from those that don’t. The program is deployed through an approach called kaizen, a Japanese term meaning continuous improvement. Employees work together and learn by doing as they apply structured improvement methods to a targeted process and monitor results to ensure that value-added steps are performed efficiently.

Plan Do Study Act (PDSA)

Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) is an iterative problem-solving approach to improving a process or carrying out a change. It works through developing a plan to test a particular change, carrying out the test, observing and learning from the results and then modifying the change as needed until the intended objective is achieved. The methodology works on small- as well as large-system projects, and helps empower staff to take action.

Discrete event simulation

Computer-based modeling of real-world processes provides departments the ability to test and experiment with process changes and analyze their impact without affecting operations.  Simulation has been utilized for resource utilization/optimization and for appointment scheduling, capacity and forecasting.

Fast-track decision making (FTD)

Fast-track decision making (FTD) provides learners a structured approach for problem solving. Participants learn how to focus on defining the problem, brainstorm and prioritize the issues, assess potential solutions and develop actions plans.

Change acceleration process (CAP)

While not all changes lead to improvement, all improvement requires change. CAP focuses on tools that help create a shared perception of need, shape a vision, mobilize commitment, make change last and monitor progress, a process that enables employees to achieve buy-in for key initiatives.

Collaborative model

Participants explore a framework for taking action to achieve, sustain and disseminate breakthrough improvements. The collaborative model relies on the collective knowledge of participants, internal faculty, experts and evidence-based guidelines. It provides a helpful structure that guides participants in implementing large-scale process changes in segments small enough to understand.  

Introduction to project management

This introduction helps participants understand the relationship between project management and operations, and clarifies the key concepts of process groups and knowledge areas. Participants gain an appreciation of the role of project management in driving change in an organization.