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Becoming the Change with John Toussaint, MD

The Healthcare QualityCast

Becoming the Change with John Toussaint, MD

August 31, 2021

Becoming the Change with John Toussaint, MD

John Toussaint, MD, is the CEO emeritus of ThedaCare, a five-hospital system in Wisconsin, and the CEO of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value. He was founding Chair of the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality and of the Wisconsin Health Information Organization, as well as the non-executive leader of the Partnership for Healthcare Payment Reform in Wisconsin. He has participated in many Institute of Medicine subcommittees, including most recently the Value Incentives Learning Collaborative and the CEO Checklist for High-Value Healthcare.

Dr. Toussaint’s healthcare improvement work using Toyota Production System principles has been well documented in articles published in Health Affairs, the Harvard Business Review Blog, and Frontiers in Health Management. His work on payment reform and the transparency of provider performance data has been featured in The American Journal of Managed Care and the Commonwealth Fund publications, as well as news publications like The Wall Street Journal, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and Healthcare Finance News.

He has been a featured speaker at the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, The Shingo Prize, The Lean Enterprise Institute, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and many international conferences. His groundbreaking first book, On the Mend, Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry, was recently awarded the 2012 Shingo Research and Publication award. It shows how healthcare can be fundamentally improved at the point of delivery to patients using the proven principles of lean management. His just-released second book, Potent Medicine, The Collaborative Cure for Healthcare, describes the three core elements necessary to transform healthcare and deliver better value: delivery of care designed around the patient; transparency of treatment quality and cost; and payment for outcomes.

Presently Dr. Toussaint is the leader of the Healthcare Value Leaders Network (www.healthcarevalueleaders.org). A partnership between the Lean Enterprise Institute in Cambridge Massachusetts and the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value. This partnership is helping to facilitate collaborative learning between organizations committed to transforming themselves using the lean methodology. Presently there are 27 members in the network.

Here in Episode #133, John starts our show with a leadership mindset to act our way towards a new state of improvement. John gives us an overview of his career path, and what drove him to establish lean management principles as his guiding standard. He lays out the blueprint for leaders to establish management principles early for success and shares the dark moments story connected to the direct impact of failed leadership.

John gives us great examples of leaders stepping up with courage and applying the fundamental principle of respect for people. He describes how he leverages the power of listening to build strong teams. He highlights his best practice approach for going to the Gemba with purpose, and how that led to a $4 million renovation project. John shares how appropriate payment programs will lead to an explosion of healthcare quality improvement. He encourages healthcare leaders to prioritize collaboration over the competition; and how healthcare leaders can create their best selves through reflection and personal Kaizen.

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