Friday, April 18, 2014

Congratulations to Willy Spaan

I met Willy Spaan many years ago, during a visit to my former hospital. Later, he invited me to his hospital, Jeroen Bosch Ziekenhuis in the Netherlands, to conduct a number of seminars and workshops on quality and safety and other process improvement.  I'm very pleased to pass along, now, this announcement:

Prof. dr. W. Spaan, Chairman of the Management Board of the Jeroen Bosch Hospital, has been elected Care Manager of the year 2014. The jury awarded the title to Spaan because he is the most innovative and inspiring, and implemented patient safety into every layer of the organization. W. Spaan is someone who doesn’t have to be in the spotlights. He encourages the employees and medical specialists and provides them with the freedom to successfully do their work.

The election was organized by the magazine Zorgvisie, and is annually awarded to the most successful care manager of the year. The other two nominees were Jan Kimpen, CEO of University Medical Centre Utrecht, and Jeroen van den Oever of Fundis, formerly Vierstroom, in Gouda.


As chairman, Spaan has made quality into the guiding principle of care. He has tirelessly worked to create an active and open patient safety culture at the Jeroen Bosch Hospital (JHA). The existing internal and external openness about mortality rates, the quality indicators and disasters have greatly contributed to the internal awareness that it is important to keep improving, and that patients have confidence in organizations that are built on a strong culture of improvement.

 A personal encounter in 2008 with Donald Berwick, the former CEO of the Institute of Health Improvement, the leading institute in the field of quality and safety in health care, inspired him to implement the six dimensions of quality (Safety, Patient-centered, Effectiveness, Efficiency, Timely and Equality) as a corporate strategy in our hospital. From that moment, Spaan started to focus on quality in the care we provide to our patients. This has also led to JHA belonging to the five best hospitals in the Netherlands with regards to care indicators. 

The Jeroen Bosch Hospital is very proud that Spaan is elected as care manager of the year. His nomination is a great opportunity to further promote his mission for quality and safety, and to continue inspiring others. 

All candidates are assessed on the sustainable and innovative results they have achieved in the health care organization they lead. Their ideas about the organization of care inspire others inside and outside their institution, and they are an example for care managers in the Netherlands. The three candidates were nominated by a selection committee consisting of Professor Pauline Meurs and organization consultant Hanke Lange.  The winners were announced at the end of the congress  Focus on proper care in Haarlem.  Jury President AndrĂ© Rouvoet, also chairman of Insurers Netherlands, announced the winners.

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