Mr. Potato Head: A LEAN, Mean Quality Improvement Teaching Machine!

This is a simulation teaching strategy used to illustrate Quality Improvement. This strategy can be used with:

1. Medical Students, Residents, Faculty, Nurses, other health care providers and team members
2. Anyone! Has been done successfully with 9 year learners at summer camp, as well as industrial engineers!

Number of Participants Needed:

1. Ideal number is 7-8 members per team
2. Has been done with as few as 4 participants, or 125 students in teams of 8-10 members.

A bus filled with 16 Potato Head family members is in a terrible crash! At the scene of the accident, Emergency Medical Services arrives to find only scattered body parts. Luckily, one of the family members was carrying a photo album with a photo of each family member. There are men, women, children, and pets on the bus. A health care team is waiting in the emergency room to correctly assemble as many family members as possible in 7 minutes. On the health care team, two of the members are designated “Implantation Specialists” (a.k.a. trauma surgeons). Only they can “implant” the parts into the potato bodies. The number of correctly assembled Potato Heads and the number of errors are tracked through each PDSA cycle.