James L. Reinertsen, M.D., heads The Reinertsen Group, an independent consulting and teaching practice helping health care leaders create organizational environments in which the work of nurses and doctors can thrive. He brings to this work an unusual combination of skills and experience:

  • He practiced rheumatology for twenty years, earning a reputation as a superb, patient-centered consultant.
  • He has been a respected CEO of complex health care systems in challenging markets for fifteen years.
  • He has functioned as an innovative thought leader in health care leadership development, clinical quality improvement, patient safety, health system integration, and health care market design.

Dr. Reinertsen now brings his skills and experience to the Institute for Health Care Improvement in Boston, where he is a Senior Fellow, heading IHI's leadership development sector, and to hospitals and health care systems throughout the United States and Europe.  He was a subcommittee member of the Institute of Medicine's work that produced the landmark publications  "To Err Is Human" and "Crossing the Quality Chasm," and as an author of papers in major medical journals.

From July 1998 to August, 2001, Dr. Reinertsen was Chief Executive Officer of both CareGroup, a six hospital, 1400 physician system, and of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of the Harvard Medical School. During his tenure at CareGroup, he was also Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Before his engagement at CareGroup, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of Park Nicollet Health Services (formerly HealthSystem Minnesota) in Minneapolis, an integrated care system that includes Methodist Hospital and Park Nicollet Clinic. He was President and CEO of Park Nicollet Medical Center from 1986 to 1992, and President of Park Nicollet Medical Foundation from 1983 to 1985.

From 1992 to 1997, Dr. Reinertsen was Chairman of the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI), a collaborative effort to develop and implement best practices in health care, sponsored by the Buyers Health Care Action Group, Park Nicollet, Mayo Clinic, and HealthPartners - a Twin Cities health plan. ICSI is a nationally recognized example of what physician groups that otherwise compete with each other can accomplish when they collaborate around common professional and business goals.

A frequently invited speaker on these issues for physician, hospital, and integrated delivery system organizations, he also has authored more than 40 articles in journals such as Annals of

Internal Medicine, British Medical Journal, New England Journal of Medicine, and the Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement.

Dr. Reinertsen's new book, Ten Powerful Ideas for Patient Care Improvement, coauthored with Dr. Wim Schellekens, CEO of the Dutch Institute for Quality, will be published in spring 2005.

Dr. Reinertsen is Past President of the American Medical Group Association, and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

He joined Park Nicollet Medical Center as a consultant in rheumatology in 1978, following two years as a Clinical Associate at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. A member of Alpha Omega Alpha, he received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1973, and completed an internship at San Francisco General Hospital in 1974, and a residency at the University of California Hospital in 1976. Doctor Reinertsen is a 1969 summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of St. Olaf College in Minnesota.

Speaker Topics

  • Governance
  • Quality and Patient Safety
  • Strategic Planning

Speaker Type

  • Breakout Presenter
  • Keynote Presenter
  • Presentation Moderator