Who: Dr. Gary Kaplan, 63
New role: Chairman of the National Patient Safety Foundation's Lucian Leape Institute, effective April 30. He replaces Dr. Lucian Leape, the patient-safety pioneer who since 2007 has chaired the institute named for him. Kaplan, a practicing internist, has been a member of the institute since 2010. He is also chairman and CEO of Seattle-based Virginia Mason Health System, where he has served since 2000.
Advancing change: Kaplan is well-known for his role in developing a customized version of the Toyota Production System, a Lean approach now commonly used in healthcare to standardize procedures. In 2014, his hospital became one of the first in the nation to offer warranties on avoidable complications to privately insured patients undergoing hip and knee replacements.
Top priorities: Implementation of a safety culture and the critical role of leadership in that culture will be among the top priorities for Kaplan and the institute in coming years. “We know what to do,” Kaplan says. “Now we really want to focus on how to do it.” He also cites other goals, including advancing the movement toward systems designed around patients, seeking transparency in all dimensions of healthcare, and looking to other industries—such as transportation and hospitality—for solutions.