John J. Nance


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Why Hospitals Should Fly

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John J. Nance, JD

A trusted visionary, the main focus of John Nance's acclaimed presentations has become Patient Safety, and the critical need for Care Coordination. Following Dr. Don Berwick's lead, John is convinced that the survival and excellence of healthcare requires seismic changes. Advances rely on enthusiastic and dramatic staff improvements in the patient/caregiver experience. A member of the healthcare community for over two decades, he is author of the ACHE 2009 Book of the Year, WHY HOSPITALS SHOULD FLY and was one of the founding board members of the National Patient Safety Foundation.

More about this speaker:

John has been a dynamic and deeply dedicated member of the medical community for over two decades. A world-class speaker, consultant and best-selling author, John brings a rich diversity of professional training and background to the quest of Patient Safety, Care Coordination, and seismic improvement in the Patient/Caregiver Experience.  His acclaimed, award-winning book, Why Hospitals Should Fly: The Ultimate Flight Plan to Patient Safety and Quality Care (Second River Healthcare Press), was the ACHE’s 2009 Book of the Year, and is widely considered to be a cornerstone of reinventing the cultural foundations of healthcare. His much anticipated sequel to Why Hospitals Should Fly was released in June 2012 and is entitled CHARTING THE COURSE: Launching Patient-Centric Healthcare. This sequel is aimed squarely at ACOs, governance, financial survival, and the means of excelling as American healthcare transitions from the fee-for-service model to something entirely different.

As one of the nation’s most dynamic, relevant, yet entertaining and energizing professional speakers, John J. Nance’s messages to medical practitioners have reached new heights of relevance and importance as seen in his presentations to such pace-setting entities as the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and a who’s who of healthcare organizations.

John's presentations include: 

  • New for 2018 - Mid-Course Correction
  • Why Hospitals Should Fly – The Ultimate Flight Plan to Patient Safety and Quality Care
  • TAKEOFF – Charting The Course: Launching Patient Centric Healthcare
  • The Board’s Pivotal Role in Patient Safety
  • Ending Medical Apartheid 
  • The 8 Major Dysfunctionalities of America’s Healthcare Non-System
  • The Medical-Legal Mess, and How it Indirectly Kills Patients
  • What Now? – A Dynamic and Cutting-Edge Program for Healthcare Leaders and Physicians (co-presented with Kathleen Bartholomew, length 4 hours)

John was one of the founding board members of the National Patient Safety Foundation and served on the board for 9 years, as well as serving as a member of the National Patient Safety Foundation’s Executive Committee.  A native Texan from Dallas (and a 40-year resident of the Seattle/Puget Sound area), he earned his Bachelor’s Degree from SMU (Southern Methodist University) and his Juris Doctor Degree from SMU’s Dedman School of Law before admission to the Texas bar. Installed as a Distinguished Alumni of Southern Methodist University in 2002, and a Distinguished Alumni of the Law School in 2008, he is also a decorated Air Force officer-pilot and a veteran of Vietnam and Operations Desert Storm/Desert Shield. A Lt. Colonel in the USAF Reserve who is well-known for his pioneering involvement in Air Force human factors  and flight safety education. As a professional pilot, John has piloted a wide variety of jet aircraft, including most of Boeing’s line, as well as the Air Force C-141, and has logged over 13,600 hours of flight time in his commercial airline (Braniff International Airways and Alaska Airlines ) and Air Force careers.

More important to his leading-edge role in healthcare, John Nance was one of the pioneers of pivotal safety revolution in professional communication, teamwork, and leadership known in aviation as CRM (crew resource management).  His internationally-published 1986 book about safety in human systems, BLIND TRUST, is widely credited with helping to spark not only the universal acceptance of CRM principles in aviation, but the earliest infusion of culture-changing lessons derived from aviation into medical practice.  BLIND TRUST was pivotal in illuminating serious public issues in aviation safety for the American public, and WHY HOSPITALS SHOULD FLY follows in that tradition as a major wakeup call, and as a functional model of what excellence in hospital care should look like.

With most of his speaking schedule dedicated to the urgency of improving healthcare from patient safety through practice satisfaction to ACO’s, John has also emerged as one of the leading thinkers on matters of major change to America 's healthcare system.

A vocal advocate of completely removing the tort system from involvement in medical accidents and mistakes, he convened and hosted an unprecedented conference on the subject with the sponsorship of AHRQ, a conference of doctors and lawyers that spawned several very surprising and important realizations.

John’s unique ability to reach every member of the healthcare community comes from his unprecedented background mix of law, safety, aviation and even broadcasting. His powerful messages resonate deeply with physicians and caregivers about leadership and the human propensity for mistakes even among the most tenured professionals. His extensive experience working with hospitals and clinics nationwide has been documented by continuous client praise and the highest effectiveness ratings. 

John Nance lives in Roche Harbor on San Juan Island in Washington, and travels nationally and internationally working with healthcare organizations.

Broadcasting Information:

John has become a trusted and internationally recognized broadcast analyst and advocate for both medical/patient safety and aviation safety.  Before joining ABC World News and Good Morning America in 1994, he had logged countless appearances on national shows such as Oprah, the PBS News Hour, Today, CNN, as well as most Canadian and English-speaking networks worldwide. In addition, his editorials have been published in newspapers nationwide, including the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He has been listed for more than a decade in Who’s Who in America.  John Nance is also the internationally-known author of 19 major books, (6 non-fiction, 13 fiction), his latest fiction release being ORBIT (Simon and Schuster) which is in development as a major motion picture.  Two of his other books, Pandora’s Clock and Medusa’s Child, were both made into major, successful two-part miniseries for NBC and ABC respectively, and still air periodically around the world.

Click Here to read: "What Pilots Can Teach Hospitals About Patient Safety."

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