Richard J. Zarbo

System Chairman, Pathology and Laboratory MedicineHenry Ford HospitalDetroit, MI
Richard Zarbo

Bio: Richard J. Zarbo is the System Chairman of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. Dr. Zarbo is a transformative leader who has integrated all laboratories of the Ford System into a product line that operates using Henry Ford’s Lean business system known as the Henry Ford Production System.
Dr. Zarbo was one of the pathology profession’s early pioneers in applying quality techniques and the principles of Lean manufacturing to pathology and laboratory medicine. The Henry Ford continuous improvement culture is based on quality manufacturing principles developed by Henry Ford and the management approach of W. Edwards Deming that later inspired the Toyota Production System. The successful Lean culture of the Henry Ford laboratories that produced thousands of process improvements is featured in Dr. Jeffrey Liker’s books The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement: Linking Strategy and Operational Excellence to Achieve Superior Performance (2011) and The Toyota Way to Service Excellence: Lean Transformation in Service Organizations (2016).
The Henry Ford Laboratories obtained ISO 15189 accreditation in 2013 as the largest ISO 15189 accredited, integrated, multi-setting medical laboratory system in the United States and the only one in Michigan. Dr. Zarbo has written over 200 peer-reviewed publications, with over 50 directly related to laboratory quality. He is also a clinical professor of pathology at Wayne State University School of Medicine.