50 Most Influential Physician Executives – 2016
Chairman and CEO, Virginia Mason
The pursuit of quality improvement will always be a driving force for Dr. Gary Kaplan. It's certainly been the hallmark of his work as chairman and CEO of the Virginia Mason Health System in Seattle since 2000. The 64-year-old practicing internist has been board chairman of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement for three years. In 2015 he also was named chairman of the National Patient Safety Foundation's Lucian Leape Institute in Boston, taking over for Dr. Lucian Leape, the patient-safety leader who for many years chaired the institute named after him. Kaplan advanced the standardization of healthcare procedures by developing a customized version of the Toyota Production System, following up that work with a groundbreaking program that offered warranties on hip and knee replacements performed at Virginia Mason. Later, in an effort to boost transparency at the health system, he posted estimated prices for the 100 most-common minor surgical outpatient procedures.