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KNOXVILLE — The College of Business Administration at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is sending a team of four instructors to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday to teach two customized Lean for Healthcare courses at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center.

It is the first time UT faculty — who have delivered the course for organizations in Italy, Germany, Canada and across the U.S. — have tailored the course for healthcare professionals in the Middle East.

A customized one-day lean healthcare overview will be delivered to approximately 40 senior King Faisal healthcare executives; a customized five-day Lean for Healthcare course will be delivered to approximately 40 King Faisal healthcare practitioners.

“We’re excited to take the expertise we’ve developed in this area to another part of the world,” said Ted Stank, associate dean of executive education in UT’s College of Business Administration. “This opportunity illustrates how global the reputation of our college and curriculum has become.”

Developed in 2007, Lean for Healthcare is a five-day program offered through the College of Business Administration’s Center for Executive Education. Designed for hospital executives, physician leaders, nursing executive and medical suppliers, the course teaches how to efficiently deliver quality healthcare by identifying and eliminating waste. Instructors include academics, lean practitioners and physicians who have gone through the program and have successfully implemented lean in their work environments.

The opportunity to take the Lean for Healthcare course to Saudi Arabia came about, in part, because five physicians associated with King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center graduated from the University of Tennessee’s Physician Executive MBA program (PEMBA). PEMBA has trained over 350 physician leaders from 45 U.S. states; Saipan; Puerto Rico; and eight other countries, including Saudi Arabia. Lean is one of the organizational improvement philosophies taught in PEMBA.

“In Lean for Healthcare, the patient is the center of everything,” said Jody Crane, a 2004 PEMBA graduate who helped develop and is a lead faculty member for the Lean for Healthcare program. Crane is an emergency physician at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, Va., and business director of Fredericksburg Emergency Medical Alliance.

By applying lean principles, Crane and his team reduced the length of stay in the Mary Washington Hospital emergency department by more than 38 percent — from over four hours in 2004 to two hours and 30 minutes in 2009. They also decreased the rate with which patients leave without being seen by almost 90 percent — from a high of 13 percent in 2003 to 1.5 percent in 2009. In essence, the team created the capacity to treat 38 percent more patients with similar resources.

Crane, who is traveling to Saudi Arabia, said UT’s Lean for Healthcare curriculum applies to for-profit and nonprofit healthcare facilities, as well as facilities that operate in countries having a government-run healthcare system.

“The curriculum is the same; it’s robust enough to apply to just about any healthcare setting,” Crane said.

For more about the Lean for Healthcare program, see

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,

Cindy Raines (865-974-4359,