The ORCA Institute

Partners in Transforming
the Patient Experience



About Us

The Orca Institute was established by five founders with a wide range of expertise and experiences in healthcare and high-reliability organization safety, quality and service improvement work.

We are passionate about the urgent need to save lives and reduce harm.
And we are highly frustrated with the status quo and pace of change.
We have been "mugged by the reality" that we must transform ourselves to better support the ever changing needs of our healthcare leadership partners.

How We Have Transformed

  • We have established a Guidance Council of highly respected healthcare and high-reliability experts and Associates to continue to advance our perspectives.
  • We partner with your most critical change agents; an interdisciplinary, non-hierarchal, team with the power and support to make needed changes.
  • We don't presume to know; we assess, review and listen prior to recommending a higher bar and an improvement path.
  • We inspire and guide you through one continuous improvement journey; utilizing boardroom to bedside leadership best practices, with a transformational focus upon providing an exceptional patent experience.
  • We provide hands on support and routinely updated resources; for implementing actionable practices, sustaining the gains and optimizing performance.

How We Get Started

  • We meet with you to listen to your challenges and opportunities.
  • We assess your patient experience DNA, the improvement initiatives underway and practices utilized to enhance performance.
  • We review assessment gaps, share gap closure success stories and suggest the establishment of bolder goals.
  • We discuss the use of the most appropriate learning, sharing and planning improvement pathway.
  • We view your potential hands on support and sustaining needs.
  • We discuss and decide upon next steps.

Author, pioneer in applying lessons of high reliability organizations to healthcare

John Nance

CEO Orca Partners, past chair Virginia Mason, CEO in high reliability industries

Tom Vandawark

Author, two decades of experience in clinical nursing and patient safety

Kathleen Bartholomew
CEO HRS Consulting, transforming healthcare high reliability practices

Spence Byrum
CEO in high reliability organizations, leader in healthcare HRO

Lee Flowers



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