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Craig Deao

Craig Deao

    Sought-after national expert and speaker on topics related to leadership, accountability, patient experience, quality and safety.
Fee Range

$7,500 - $10,000

Travels From


Craig Deao Knowing Doing Gap clip

Craig Deao Knowing Doing Gap clip

Craig Deao has been a member of the senior executive team for Studer Group since 2006. He is also a sought-after national expert and speaker on topics related to leadership, accountability, patient experience, quality and safety.

In addition to his fulltime work with Studer Group, he has served as faculty for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the American College of Healthcare Executives, and dozens of healthcare systems across the US and Canada.

He is also an accomplished author. Craig has been published in Trustee magazine and he co-authored the 2011 article of the year in the Journal of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy.

Craig served as one of the key leaders of Studer Group's Baldrige journey and now spends most weeks inside of healthcare organizations working with boards, medical staffs and executives to help architect their own journeys to excellence.

Born and raised in New Orleans, Craig received two bachelor's degrees from Louisiana State University. He received his master's degree in healthcare administration from the University of Minnesota and currently serves on their Alumni Board of Directors. Craig now lives in Pensacola, FL with his wife, Julie, and is the proud father of five-year-old Sam and three-year-old Jack.

To book Craig Deao call Executive Speakers Bureau at 901-754-9404.

The Perfect Patient Experience: Bringing High Reliability to the Bedside
Audience: Leaders, Quality Improvement Leaders — Length: 75-90 Mins

The defect-free patient experience: what would that be like? The patient would access the right care at the right time; receive the right diagnosis and evidence-based treatment, with no adverse effects; and experience both the care and compassion that engenders trust in her providers, better outcomes, loyalty and recommendations to her friends. The science exists to make this a reality, not just sometimes, but always. This session will review the evidence correlating positive patient experiences with quality and safety; introduce three evidence-based practices proven to improve each of these domains; and inspire attendees to set targets and hold themselves and their colleagues accountable for delivering perfect patient experiences.


  • See the evidence correlating positive patient experiences with quality and safety
  • Learn three evidence-based practices proven to improve each of these domains
  • Be inspired to set targets and hold themselves and their colleagues accountable for delivering perfect patient experiences

Engaging Physicians to Execute System Performance
Audience: Leaders, patient safety leaders, patient experience leaders — Length: 75-90 Mins

The engagement and alignment of physicians will accelerate achievement of quality, safety, service and operational goals. This is easy to say, but it is more challenging to execute. Discover what leaders must do to create true physician collaboration through a three-step process.


  • Implement three tactics proven to improve physician engagement and alignment
  • Discuss the link between quality and service with physicians
  • Set targets and hold themselves and their colleagues accountable for delivering perfect patient experience

Optionality Doesn’t Work Here Anymore
Audience: Leaders — Length: 75-90 Mins

In this session we will describe how leading organizations have successfully improved both HCAHPS and process of care measures under Value-Based Purchasing by focusing not just on process improvement but also on the human behavioral sciences to create buy-in, enthusiasm and commitment to implementing best practice. 


  • Describe how leading organizations have successfully improved both HCAHPS and process of care measures under Value-Based Purchasing
  • Implement three evidence-based practices proven to increase results on both HCAHPS and process of care measures 

Closing the Knowing-Doing Gap in Healthcare
Audience: Leaders — Length: 75-90 Mins

This session will describe and share evidence-based practices for closing the “Knowing-Doing Gap” in healthcare. Six frogs are sitting on a lily pad, and one decides to jump. How many frogs are left on the lily pad? You may assume the answer is five. Actually, it’s six. Why? Because deciding to jump and jumping are two completely different things! Back in 2000, Jeffery Pfeffer and Robert I Sutton published a book called The Knowing-Doing Gap. It pinpoints a challenge faced by organizations in all industries, including healthcare: We work really hard to figure out what we need to do, yet we fail to implement what we learn in the process. In 2001, the Institute of Medicine published a report called Crossing the Quality Chasm. This report pointed out that it takes an average of 17 years for new (scientifically generated) knowledge to be translated into practice. That’s a long time to between knowing and doing- and we can no longer afford to wait for 17 years. Most healthcare organizations really want to leap off that lily pad- especially with value-based purchasing making it even more critical that we drastically improve clinical quality (and keep improving it). Show why don’t we follow through? Why are so many us frogs with good intentions? The gap between knowing what we need to do and actually doing it is almost always a foundational issue. 


  • Describe the “Knowing-Doing Gap” in healthcare
  • Implement three evidence-based strategic objectives in your healthcare organization

Value-Based Purchasing: Leaning into the Second Curve
Audience: Leaders — Length: 75-90 Mins

Our nation’s healthcare delivery system is undergoing transformation being directed, in part, by a fundamental shift in economics. No longer will providers be paid based solely on units of service. The shift has occurred toward paying for value, which is a relationship of the quality being provided to the cost of the service. This session gives an overview of Value-Based Purchasing, including a summary of how we’ve gotten to this latest attempt at driving quality improvement and cost control, how we’re faring as a nation and as a delivery system under the first wave of VBP, and what lies ahead as additional measures are included and the financial stakes rise. The focus will be on sharing what’s working well under VBP and identifying the specific practices that leading organizations are employing to deliver higher quality, lower cost care.


Discuss the evolution and development of Value-Based Purchasing

Describe the latest thinking on the next wave of Value-Based Purchasing

List three actionable practice leading organizations are employing that  produce higher quality, lower cost care

Speaking Topics:

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