Sharing ideas on Risk, Human Performance, Teams and Leaders

James Reinertsen

What's possible in healthcare safety

Dr James Reinertsen heads The Reinertsen Group, an independent consulting and teaching practice focused on improving the clinical quality performance of health care organizations. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Health Care Improvement in Boston. A practicing rheumatologist for 20 years, he has been an influential and admired health system CEO, leading quality improvement in medical groups, hospitals, and academic health centers. He was the CEO of Park Nicollet Health Services in Minneapolis from 1986- 1998, and the CEO of a 6 hospital system in Boston from 1998-2001. Dr. Reinertsen was a founder and first Chairman of the MinnesotaÕs Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, and is author of over 50 scholarly papers, and a 2005 book titled Ten Powerful Ideas for Patient Care Improvement.

True change comes from the philosophy of aiming for whatÕs possible rather than whatÕs passable. Leaders and boards need to take personal responsibility for safety and get out in the work place to understand the issues. What is possible and what makes a great organization is best summed up by Paul OÕNeil, CEO of Alcoa, the safest organization: itÕs one where everyone can say, every day, I am treated with respect by every person..., and I have the opportunity to do something meaningful ..., and when I do, somebody notices.