Public Radio Story on VIBCO Helping Rhode Island Healthcare


Short post today – the sole purpose is to point you to a great Rhode Island Public Radio story by Megan Hall. She visited VIBCO after I mentioned them to her in a comment on her blog  (which I discovered because she wrote about my good friend Paul Levy – check out his new book, it's excellent).

Megan visited VIBCO, an outstanding Lean Manufacturing company and also visited Rhode Island Hospital. Check out her radio piece (and a transcript) here: “RI Hospital learning from manufacturing industry.”

You can also see VIBCO president Karl Wadensten talking with Megan on his Lean Nation internet TV show.

From Megan's piece:

Dr. Timothy Babineau is the president and CEO of Rhode Island Hospital. He says there are lots of parallels between VIBCO's experience ant challenges faced by the health care industry.

“Folks at VIBCO had done things the same way for year after year after year without ever questioning if it was the best way to do something and I think in health care we often suffer from that same syndrome,” he says.

Babineau first heard about lean when he was the vice president of the University of Maryland Medical Center. When he moved up to Rhode Island, he wanted to implement the concepts here. So he looked around for a place where his management team could see the ideas in action.

So Babineau loaded a bunch of Rhode Island Hospital employees into a bus and they drove down to the VIBCO factory. Two years later, Rhode Island Hospital is slowly applying the ideas it saw at the factory.

See my previous video podcast interview with Karl.

Video of Karl and Megan:

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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. Thanks Mark! Just one example of how these blogs lead to all sorts of new connections and interesting story ideas. Glad you found my post and taught me a little something about lean in Rhode Island.

    • Happy to help. I’m glad you were able to run with it. VIBCO is a pretty special place and they are doing a great service to the state. Thanks for sharing their story.

  2. […] Mark’s note: Today’s guest post is an excerpt from the book Remarkable by Toby LaVigne. Toby’s bio can be found at the bottom of this post. In this chapter from the book, Toby writes about a good friend of mine and of this blog – Karl Wadensten, the President of VIBCO. You can watch or listen to a podcast I did with Karl a few years back or listen to a public radio story about them. […]


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