Cathie Furman, MHA, RN
Executive Faculty Member, Virginia Mason Institute
Cathie Furman, MHA, RN, is an executive faculty member at Virginia Mason Institute and a certified leader in the Virginia Mason Production System. At the institute’s training facility in Seattle and worldwide, she teaches health care executives and leaders how to use lean methods and tools to dramatically improve safety and quality. She also speaks frequently about the critical success factors of a patient safety program and how to implement management methods that improve patient safety. In her previous role, from 2001 to 2015, as the senior vice president of quality and compliance who was accountable for Virginia Mason’s strategic quality plan, Cathie traveled with her colleagues on their first trip to Japan to learn the benefits of using a lean management system. After returning to Seattle, she worked with the organization’s leaders, providers and staff to adapt the Toyota Production System to health care. She also created and implemented the Patient Safety Alert SystemTM, a groundbreaking, sustainable method to engage all employees to report any incident or situation that could cause harm to a patient.