1 'key assumption' in lean management, per UI Hospitals' new CEO

When it comes to lean management, Bradley Haws, the new CEO of the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics and associate vice president of UI Health Care, offers a "key assumption": don't assume. 

Mr. Haws — who recently joined the Iowa City-based health system from Emory Healthcare in Atlanta — discussed his plans for his first 90 days in the corner office during an interview published to UI Health Care's news site Nov. 29. 

"Emory was really big on what they call lean process improvement or lean management. And one of the key assumptions in lean management is: don't assume the answer," Mr. Haws said. "Get as much data as you can, find out what you're going to test or try as a solution, and then be able to measure it." 

"We all have opportunities for improvement, but I don't want to come in and assume where those opportunities are," he continued. "I'll be depending on a lot of people to give me input."

Mr. Haws said he has a team-based, collaborative leadership style and plans to "listen a lot," particularly in the early days of his tenure. It will not be his first time on UI Health Care grounds — he served as the system's associate vice president and CFO from 2018 to 2021 before assuming his most recent role as CFO of Emory Healthcare — but he aims to avoid assumption regardless. 

"Especially in this situation, where I've been here before, it would be easy for me to come back and say, 'Oh, I know about that,'" Mr. Haws said. "I think it’s really important to listen and understand other people's perspectives and then bring the solutions forward."

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