Virginia Mason’s CEO on Health Reform


    Dr. Gary Kaplan, the CEO of Virginia Mason Medical Center is now part of an effort called “Health CEOS for Health Reform“. He posted a video on YouTube talking about health reform, framing some of it in a “lean” or Toyota Production System perspective.

    For more on the “Virginia Mason Production System,” click here for a quick overview.

    Key points:

    • Need to stop complaining and take action
    • The path to better quality and safety is the same as the path to reduced cost
    • Our system is so full of waste (non-value-added activities), need to systematically reduce and eliminate that waste
    • Policy makers should think big and get honest about what's possible
    • Improvement is not coming from a technological arms race

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    Mark Graban
    Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


    1. Mark, thanks for this post. In a word: leadership–critical for transformation. I think all lean practitioners should strive to be aware of C-level perspectives to provide context, align actions and provide a basis for informed dialogue and engagement.


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