Podcast #347 — Brad Parsons, Hospital CEO & Co-Author of “Creating an Effective Management System”


Our guest today for Episode 347 is Brad Parsons, the CEO of NEA Baptist, in Jonesboro, Arkansas. NEA Baptist is a 228-bed hospital and 140-provider medical group serving northeast Arkansas — part of Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation.

Brad is also the co-author of the new book Creating an Effective Management System: Integrating Policy Deployment, TWI, and Kata. His co-authors have been guests on the podcast before — Patrick Graupp and Skip Steward.

In this episode, we'll talk about core themes from the book, including his role as the leader of their transformational efforts to implement and continue improving an effective management system — something that's important for so many reasons. We'll also talk about “Process Behavior Charts” and his experience with Don Wheeler.

Streaming Player:

For a link to this episode, refer people to www.leanblog.org/347.

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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Questions, Topics, and Links:

  • Please introduce yourself and tell the listeners about your career path
  • How did you first introduced to Lean?
    • Lean is supporting a growth strategy
  • At a high level, why is it important to have an effective management system and what does that look like?
    • Moving away from fire fighting (since fire fighting is demoralizing to staff)
    • We're all working in systems — every organization is unique
  • The first page of the book:
  • Why is it important to start with purpose? How is that purpose defined at your health system?
  • In the 2nd half of the book, you write about “how we treat people” — have Lean methods built upon how people were being treated or were there opportunities for adjustment and improvement?
    • Respect, Humility, Empathy = Trust
  • In Part 3, you talk about “how we see the work” and “how we do work” — is that where TWI enters the picture? How have you used TWI and what are some of the benefits?
  • When improving the work, how does Toyota Kata fit into the Baptist Management System?
  • How do you use Policy Deployment to get alignment and look at results? 
  • Skip has been a big proponent of Process Behavior Charts… what are your views on that methodology? What was it like having Don Wheeler visit?
    • “Should we be reacting to this data?” Patient experience scores as an example.
  • What advice would you have for other healthcare CEOs?
    • Just get started in one area that's willing and ready
    • Q: “How is your management system working?

Previous podcasts with his co-authors:

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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