A prime topic of conversation for the early part of this year has been what changes in leadership do hospitals need to become stronger in the upcoming year?
I must admit, I don’t really know. It’s good that I have a circle of knowledgeable and experienced C-level executives who are working in healthcare systems large and small to discuss topics such as this. I’ve had some good heated conversations over the state of healthcare, changes in the payor environment, and government intervention, here’s what my contacts are saying:
Hospitals need entrepreneurial leadership. In the past, hospitals have been run like most other businesses. When I worked for Kennedy Health Systems in the 1990s we had a strong accounting department. At the time, the hospital had begun an outreach program which was discontinued when I left in 1998. When I look back, I appreciate the genius of my former employer in their desire to build a regional presence to manage their patient population.
Population Health Management has become the key buzzword of 2016. It means many different things to levels of participants. To patients, changes in the way hospitals do business will personalize and streamline healthcare delivery. At least, that’s the hope of executives which I conferred on the subject. Through stage 2 meaningful use, healthcare systems have built infrastructure to support government induced changes.
Entrepreneurs look at the world with a different type of lens. Where most of us, including myself, see an ocean the entrepreneur sees all of the possibilities which lie within. This type of person has a wonderful view of capital which changes as their enterprise grows. In the beginning, capital enables the organization to build and create. Through the middle, it supports the growing empire. In the end, it becomes fodder for the next endeavor.
When I attended Saint Joseph’s working towards a graduate degree in business, one of my favorite professors told me that the purpose of business isn’t to make money. The true purpose of business is to provide a product or service that enriches or benefits people’s lives. In many cases, executives would agree we’ve moved away from that goal in healthcare.
One of the main initiatives, in healthcare today, is moving from a fee for service to a value based environment. What that means is that, in the past, providers have been paid for doing a battery of tests and procedures. Today, providers will only be paid if they produce a positive outcome. Internally, hospitals are using informatics to understand pathways that lead to these outcomes. Since prolific testing is no longer being reimbursed, hospitals have returned to intelligent systems to manage patient care.
Entrepreneurs understand their audience – at least they attempt to understand before jumping in with both feet. Healthcare systems of 2016 are redefining service areas and using analytics to understand patient demographics. This is common to the methodology of entrepreneurial leadership and with such a person in charge, the topography of the hospital’s world might be easier defined.
Should we fire all the accountants? Absolutely not. Some don’t understand that an entrepreneurial business survives on money management. In a payor environment such as we have in 2016 and changes which will continue to affect the future, good money managers are essential. Sometimes we equate entrepreneurs with dreamers: Disney, Jobs, Cuban, Turner, et infinitum. They understand, in most cases, their dreams need to be tempered with solid money management to achieve success. When you wish upon a star, make sure your accountant is on the spaceship.
I work for an entrepreneurial company. Four years ago our owner stated he didn’t want to sell the same thing as the competition. He wanted to “leap over” competitors and create the next generation of mobile computing platform for clinicians. He not only said it, he put his money into creating such an aggressive product. Last year, with sales of our new FMCPT soaring, our revenues grew over 500%. We expect the same type of growth this year.
Don’t despair. Consolidation, expansion, telemedicine, clinical pathways, and the ever elusive stage 3 meaningful use, can all work in your favor. Take a step back and examine your leadership. If you’ve experienced growth and great ideas are streaming from your executive office, you might be in the right place. Its time for change and good systems are looking to entrepreneurs.
If you’d like to discuss this, or other topics, with me please contact me at email@example.com or call me at 610.757.8801. I’m always interested in discussing any topic and would very much like to hear from you.
If you’d like to take a good on-line class, please contact American Sentinel University at 800.729.2427 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please have a look at www.scott-clark.com, especially nurses and executives who work with mobile computing carts. FMCPT has truly changed point of care computing. Its easier, nurses love our product, we’d be pleased to hear from you!
Bruce Bennett is Vice President of Scott-Clark Medical. Scott-Clark continues to innovate and lead the mobile computing industry in new design and ideas. Contact us at 512.756.7300 to get more information or and electronic brochure.