Title: Director and Senior Advisor, Continuous Performance Improvement
Organization: Seattle Children’s Hospital


Barb Bouché is the senior consultant and department director for the Continuous Performance Improvement (CPI) department of Seattle Children’s Hospital. The organization consists of a 250 bed inpatient unit, ambulatory division with over 60,000 visits per year, and extensive research institute (which received over $80 million in grant funding in 2011).

In partnership with her colleague, and with the guidance of an external lean coach and mentor, Barb began the first improvement efforts in the hospital in1997. Seattle Children’s was one of the first organizations in the country to define their CPI journey (Lean transformation using Toyota Production System tools, systems and principles) as the way to transform healthcare through cultural transformation. Barb now oversees a department of 33 employees, continues to coach colleagues and executives in their CPI journey, and manages a $6 million budget.

In the past four years, Barb has been working with staff, architects, engineers and construction teams to design and develop new facilities based on lean principles. She is also helping to support Seattle Children’s in their first steps with strategy deployment.

Barb has been with Seattle Children’s for 30 years as both an internal and external consultant. She has a master’s degree in education from Seattle University, and has been practicing and learning lean for more than 12 years. She has been a co-leader on seven study trips to Japan, and is a current member of the advisory council and Shingo assessment team for the Health Care Value network and is working to achieve her certification as a Toyota Kata instructor and coach.

In her spare time, Barb is an avid backpacker, bicycle rider and, when weather permits, explores the mountains on snowshoes.