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Quality Insider

On the Mend Earns Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award

Book honored for contributions to lean health care and operational excellence

Published: Friday, March 23, 2012 - 08:12

(ThedaCare: Appleton, WI) — John S. Toussaint, M.D., and Roger A. Gerard, Ph.D., have earned the prestigious Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award for their book, On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry (Lean Enterprise Institute Inc., 2010).

The award is given annually by The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence, a nonprofit organization that is part of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. It recognizes a book’s contribution to increasing overall operational excellence.

In On the Mend, Toussaint, CEO of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value and CEO emeritus of ThedaCare, and Gerard, chief learning officer for ThedaCare, candidly describe the triumphs and stumbles during a seven-year journey toward lean health care at their five-hospital health care system in northeastern Wisconsin. It’s an effort that continues today and that has dramatically reduced medical errors, improved patient outcomes, raised staff morale, and saved the system more than $27 million without layoffs.


Toussaint makes the case that if other health care systems apply lean principles, they will generate similar results, and patients will benefit. “Lean health care exemplifies operational excellence and value for our patients, in terms of quality over cost,” he says. “It is gratifying to be recognized with the Shingo Research Award for our work.”

Gerard shares that viewpoint. “We wrote On the Mend to encourage others to expand on the work we have done at ThedaCare, because we believe this is the path we must take to get better care to more people,” he says. “This recognition will help us reach others interested in improving health care.”

About John S. Toussaint and Roger A. Gerard

In addition to his leadership of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, John S. Toussaint, M.D. has served as chairman of the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality and chairman of the board of directors of the Wisconsin Health Information Organization. His forthcoming second book, Potent Medicine: The Collaborative Cure for Healthcare, with Emily Adams, outlines the essential framework for redesigning America’s health care system by increasing transparency of quality and cost data, paying providers based on patient outcomes, and designing care around the patient. He has also been published in The Wall Street Journal, Modern Healthcare, and the Harvard Business Review.

Roger A. Gerard, M.D. has been with ThedaCare since 1991. He specializes in executive and management development, process improvement, and using lean methodologies to generate significant and measurable organizational improvement. He has more than 35 years of experience leading executive and management development initiatives, with a specific focus on organizational performance process improvement. Additionally, he operates his own management consulting firm and creative photography illustration agency, which he shares with his wife, Debra Gerard.

The Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award recognizes and promotes research and writing regarding new knowledge and understanding of lean and operational excellence. Awards are given in four categories: books (monographs), published articles, case studies, and applied publications/multimedia programs. Submissions are accepted continuously. Recognition is given continuously. Formal recognition is given each year at the Annual International Shingo Prize Conference. The Awards Ceremony & Gala will be held Thursday evening, May 3, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront in Jacksonville, Florida.


About The Author

ThedaCare’s picture


ThedaCare is a community health system consisting of five hospitals, numerous clinics, and related services. It is the third largest health care employer in Wisconsin. ThedaCare offers an environment that not only welcomes but also encourages innovative thinking and fresh approaches to today’s health care challenges. ThedaCare has improved the health of thousands of individuals. It knows this because it tracks its quality and constantly seeks to improve its care and services for the members of its communities. ThedaCare’s corporate office is in Appleton, Wisconsin.