Read What This Hospital CEO Says on His Blog About Lean and Kaizen


Hospital CEOs are busy people, to say the least, but a big part of their leadership role includes communication with employees, physicians, and the community.

That's one reason I am always excited to see CEOs reach out directly to people via blogging.

dicksonThe most recent of those is Eric Dickson, MD, MHCM, the President and CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care, and his blog:

Everyday Innovators

Dr. Dickson is also a Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. I met him back in 2010 when I lived in Boston and he was part of the local Boston Lean healthcare circles, before he moved out to Worcester and took the UMass job.

He regularly blogs about Lean, Kaizen, and process improvement, including these posts (with excerpts):

Who Is Going To Do What By When?

“This is probably the most common complaint I get from caregivers when I round.  “We have ideas about how to make the place better but no one is listening to us.” The assumption is, therefore, that no one in management cares.  That's simply is not true. The problem is that we have inadequate processes in place to ensure that we listen to our caregivers, prioritize their ideas and execute the very best of those ideas.

The fledgling process we have put in place is our idea boards.  We now have over 400 idea boards up across the organization. The idea boards are intended to be the place where management and front-line caregivers huddle on a regular basis, talk about how we can make life better for our patients and our people, decide which ideas to implement, and track their execution, which is all about who is going to do what by when.”

Our Way

“Standardization is not the loss of autonomy for our caregivers; it is the adoption of excellence.

We are working to standardize our care processes and our businesses processes throughout the organization, including they way we staff to meet the needs of our patients.”

What A Waste!

“What a waste!  Think about all those years of buying those red stickers and putting them on the tubes just to slow down the machine and the lab technician.  We laughed and stopped using those stickers that day – waste removed!”

I shared these links Friday, along with a list of four other blogs I love, in a blog post on our KaiNexus blog:

Friday Five: Blogs Our VP of Customer Success Loves

Dr. Dickson joins other healthcare CEOs who blog about Lean (at least occasionally), including:

Anna Roth, Chief Executive Officer, Contra Costa Regional Medical, Health Centers and Detention Health / Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement: “Doing Common Things Uncommonly Well.” See a post about a recent Kaizen Event and other posts on Lean.

Paul Levy, Former CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. His current blog is “Not Running a Hospital” but he has his old Lean-focused posts archived here.

Gary Passama, CEO of NorthBay Healthcare. His blog is “Healthcare Insider Blog” and he has written about Lean and shared other insights on the effects of healthcare reform.

Who else am I missing from this list of hospital CEOs who blog about Lean and improvement?

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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. Fantastic quote by Dr. Dickson, “Standardization is not the loss of autonomy for our caregivers; it is the adoption of excellence.” Pretty clear that he “gets it.” I’ll have to check out his blog. Thanks for the reference.


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