We believe a culture of continuous improvement can benefit patients in terms of both high quality clinical outcomes and their experience, says Martin Johnson

Martin Johnson

Martin Johnson

We introduced “lean” thinking into BMI Healthcare as we believe it is one of the simplest but also the most powerful and consistent ways of engaging and equipping our people to continuously improve what they do and how they do it.

Together, we embarked on a journey to nurture excellence and share best practice through what we call “the BMI Way”.

It encompasses a defined way of working based on a philosophy of continuous improvement, where we review results and ask ourselves the question: “How could I do this better today?”

‘Our people join a 10 minute daily session called a “communication cell” to discuss yesterday’s performance and to plan ahead over the coming weeks’

It actively empowers and enables everybody at BMI Healthcare to make a difference and helps them to focus on what really matters, our patients.

Our people join a 10 minute daily session called a “communication cell” to discuss yesterday’s performance, the learning from yesterday that will be incorporated into today’s activity, and to plan ahead over the coming weeks.

The aim is that a problem today is fixed so that it is not a problem tomorrow.

Everyone has a voice at these sessions, stimulating an environment where concerns are dealt with in a timely manner and innovation is accelerated, all of which promotes our ethos of “serious about health, passionate about care”.

Way forward


The BMI Way captures best practice in each of our hospitals and knits it into a way of working that is systematically shared and adopted so that we can achieve even higher levels of care: 98 per cent of our patients said that they were extremely likely or likely to recommend their BMI hospital to their friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment.**

Our staff have been delighted with the ways of working we have created together and the Care Quality Commission gave us positive feedback on our culture and approach when they inspected sites operating the BMI Way.

‘Our aim is to embed the BMI Way in all our hospitals and our offices’

Our aim is to embed the BMI Way in all our hospitals and our offices. The scale of change and the positive impact is heart warming.

We believe that this is the best and most complete example of lean healthcare in hospital delivery anywhere in the UK at the moment and we want to make it better still.

**Based on a sample of 35,624 patients completing a questionnaire during the period April-December 2013. Questionnaires analysed by Quality Health, an independent survey provider.

Martin Johnson is managing director for commercial, business improvement, infrastructure and technology at BMI Healthcare

HSJ/NHS Confederation supplement: 'Pseudonymised' records and an inspiring hospital model