J. Michael Rona's Blog

  • The beginning: Looking back at our transformation

    I wrote this four years into our journey at Virginia Mason Medical Center. The challenges back then are the same as they are today. The key is always leadership focus.  When it is there constantly, then great things happen. When it is not, then like sails luffing— simply flapping with no direction and no power—nothing goes forward.

    November 14, 2004

  • Virginia Mason

    I have been asked in the last week what I made of the recent negative JCAHO accreditation news about Virginia Mason considering the management roots of many of our team and what many would consider the roots of lean in healthcare. My first reaction was how sad for patients and staff. They do not deserve this and are not responsible for this situation. My second was how tragic it is when leaders fail the people. My third was how poorly leadership can behave when the news is bad, yet so publicly visible when it is good.

  • Leadership lessons for healthcare leaders

    A healthcare leader recently asked me to recap lessons from my time at Virginia Mason, so that he could share them with his team. Reflecting on my experiences there, I find myself still embarrassed that for the longest time I could not see another way to lead in healthcare nor truly grasp that a dramatically better product was possible. It was my growing discomfort with what we were doing for patients and with the daily duress of healthcare professionals trying to do their jobs that finally forced me, and us, to attempt a different approach.