Podcast #327 – Marc Rouppe van der Voort, Lean in Dutch Healthcare


My guest for Episode #327 of the podcast is Marc Rouppe van der Voort, Ph.D., who is joining me from Utrecht in the Netherlands. We first met back in 2009 when he invited me to come speak at a Dutch Lean Healthcare conference (which I blogged about here).

We've crossed paths many times, as Marc has frequently visited the U.S. for the annual Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit, coming with a large group of Dutch Lean healthcare practitioners from many organizations (they collaborate through an organization he chairs called Lidz, which has 60 organizations as members).

I've also had the chance to go back to visit and teach at Marc's current employer, St. Antonius Hospital, where he is vice president of operations management and leads the application of Lean principles and several supporting teams. He has also written three practical books on the application of Lean in healthcare.

Today, we'll be talking about his learning and his experience with Lean in Dutch healthcare organizations — what are the differences in the Dutch system and what are the ways in which it's similar to the American system? We'll also discuss the connections between Value Based Healthcare and Lean, with the focus on patient outcomes and quality of life… and other topics related to Lean and leadership.

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For a link to this episode, refer people to www.leanblog.org/327.

For earlier episodes of my podcast, visit the main Podcast page, which includes information on how to subscribe via RSS, through Android appsor via Apple Podcasts.  You can also subscribe and listen via Stitcher or Spotify.

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Topics and notes for this episode:

  • How did you get introduced to Lean?
    • Why is there sometimes a negative impression, at first, about Lean?
  • The Toyota Way book by Liker (my podcasts with him)
  • Tell me about the different roles you have had at the two hospitals… how do you approach Lean in healthcare?
    • St. Elisabeth – what was the origin of the phrase “loving care?
  • What have you seen work well and what challenges you have faced?
    • What are some examples of improvement?
  • What, if anything, is unique about applying Lean in the Dutch health system?
  • How are Lean and Value Based Healthcare being combined in your work?
  • What were some of the highlights at the recent European Summit?
  • The Dutch system:
    • Non-profit
    • Private organizations
    • Insurance companies
    • Paying for activity, not the health of the population
    • Prices set through negotiations
  • Visiting Jeff Kaas in Washington, and other international learning and visits
  • A third style of leadership — empowering everyone, giving them authority to act?
  • Marc's blog (in Dutch – you can read it through Google Translate)

Thanks for listening!


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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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