Care + Career

      Resources, news and fun for NHA certification candidates and alumni.

      Transformation through Lean  with Lindsay Gainer

      The healthcare industry changes every day, making continuing education vital to your success as an allied health professional. That’s why NHA requires Continuing Education (CE) credits to maintain certification. And when it comes to creating new educational content, we turn to some of the industry’s top experts — active leaders of the allied health community who are helping shape the future of healthcare.

      L. Gainer Headshot_June 2016_Final.jpg

      Lindsay Gainer, RN, MSN is one of those experts. Her areas of expertise are in Lean Management, care model redesign, and health policy. As the Senior Executive Director of Innovation for North Shore Medical Center and North Shore Physicians Group in Massachusetts, Lindsay leads the Kaizen Promotion Office and the Lean Management method in the inpatient and ambulatory setting at a large community hospital and multispecialty physicians group. She also oversees quality and safety, population health management, and staff development for the physicians group.

      Lindsay's passion for healthcare and commitment to Kaizen – the principle of continuous improvement – shows in the advice she shared for allied health professionals to help support their teams: 

      "Thank the people around you constantly – positive feedback is not given enough and is greatly appreciated."

      Lindsay's expertise in Lean Management comes to life in our latest CE series, Lean Management Practices for the Ambulatory Health Care Setting. This series will introduce you to important Lean concepts, geared specifically to the ambulatory health care environment. By completing this series, you'll have a better understanding of Lean and how Lean concepts can improve patient experience, flow, patient safety and reduce waste.  


      The series includes three articles:

      • Using Lean Management in the Ambulatory Practice Setting: Removing Waste, 5S and Standard Work
      • Using Lean Management to Improve Team-Based Care
      • Using Lean Management in the Ambulatory Practice Setting: Mistake Proofing the Medical Office

      Below, Linday shares some more insight into Lean and how to keep up in allied healthcare.

      How do you keep up with the trends and advancements in allied healthcare?

      I get a lot of excellent information from going to conferences, and I follow several healthcare blogs and listservs that provide timely and helpful updates. There are some great groups on LinkedIn and other career sites that also have information. I do a lot of reading and listening  to keep up – healthcare is a rapidly changing environment. Books, articles, podcasts and TED talks about innovative organizations and best practices are all great ways to learn and find inspiration! 

      How can you easily begin to build Lean processes into your daily routine?

      I think that the easiest places to start are with 5S and standard work. Those interventions make the work so much easier and lay a strong foundation for additional improvements. They can also help to sustain other improvements! Start with the “low-hanging fruit” – the tasks that occur all day, every day and/or the things that bother you or your colleagues the most. Two of the earliest processes that we tackled at North Shore Physicians Group were the rooming process and prescription refills. By implementing standard work and making these processes easier for everyone on the team, we got a lot of early buy-in.

      What do you hope certification holders will gain from this continuing education series?

      I hope that readers will see how transformative Lean management can be to employees and patients. We have been able to achieve huge improvements in provider and staff satisfaction, patient experience, safety, and cost savings by removing waste from our processes and engaging our employees to improve their own work.

      What is the best career advice you ever got?

      That's a tough question! I’ve been so fortunate to have multiple amazing mentors over the years and they have all given me wise words of advice.

      If I had to choose a few they would be:

      • Find joy and purpose in your work every day.
      • Thank the people around you constantly – positive feedback is not given enough and is greatly appreciated.
      • Never stop learning and setting new goals for yourself.
      • Choose jobs based on your manager/leadership, not necessarily the “work.” A good manager can change your life.


      NHA certificate holders have exclusive access to our CE library with no additional fees. To access Lindsay's article and earn two CE credits per article, log in to your NHA account now.

      Before completing NHA CE, you should check the rules or regulations of the licensing or regulatory agency of your state, in case there are different requirements.


      We’re grateful to have experts like Lindsay contributing valuable content in our newest CE series: “Transformation Through Lean” We believe there’s no better source of learning than from the men and women who are actively working — and leading — the industry today.

      Topics: Insider, continuing education