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Interview with James M Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  1. J L Reinertsen
  1. Correspondence to:
 J L Reinertsen
 Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, President, The Reinertsen Group, 375 East Aspen Meadow Lane, Alta, Wyoming 83414, USA; jim{at}

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Jim Anderson became CEO of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) in 1996, after serving on the Board of Cincinnati Children’s for 20 years, including four years as Chairman. A lawyer and manufacturing executive by background, Jim has shepherded Cincinnati Children’s to unprecedented levels of excellence in patient care, teaching and research. Cincinnati Children’s ranks third among all paediatric hospitals in NIH-funded research, and is among the top 3 or 4 children’s academic centres nationwide in scale and quality of teaching and care. A participant in the Robert Wood Johnson/IHI Pursuing Perfection initiative, CCHMC has earned an international reputation for quality, and in 2006 was awarded the McKesson Quest for Quality Prize in recognition of its extraordinary accomplishments. In particular, the AHA recognised Cincinnati Children’s exceptional commitment to patient-centredness, and its achievement of stunning results (see table 1). Mr Anderson was interviewed in August 2006 about leadership for quality at Cincinnati Children’s.

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Table 1


JR: Jim, it’s often said that the measure of leadership is results. What results are you most proud of?

JA: I get consistent feedback from throughout the organisation that everyone knows the transformational vision for Cincinnati Children’s and the strategy for achieving that vision, and is engaged and enthusiastic about doing their part in getting there. What I’m most proud of is the depth and penetration of that engagement throughout the organisation, in every discipline and unit. That sort of engagement is essential for execution (the most challenging and most important aspect of any strategic plan).

JR: How do you know that engagement is present? Do you measure it somehow?

JA: The feedback loop I rely on comes in two forms: anecdotes and measured performance. I walk around the organisation keeping my senses tuned to …

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