Find Good Partners and Innovate if You Want to Stay on Top

Resting on your laurels isn’t the way to stay on top of your game, according to three leading healthcare CEOs who spoke at a recent Not-for-Profit Health Care Investor Conference. They’ve lead their organizations to success by keeping their eyes peeled for new and better ways to do things. This topic really appeals to me.

These CEOs seek ideas from both traditional competitors and from other industries. Rodney Hochman, M.D, CEO of Providence Health & Services advises healthcare leaders to “shamelessly steal” good ideas from other industries and Michael Dowling, CEO of Northwell Health urges hospitals to share their own innovations with other businesses that might benefit.

Ultimately, even if no deals or partnerships result from these conversations, all agree that sparking new ideas builds better business.

“There are things that we can do together that we don’t have to do alone. I think this era where we have to do all of our accounts receivable, all of that inside of our four walls, is coming to an end,” says Hochman.

And, when forming partnerships, Advocate CEO Jim Skogsbergh reminds leaders to anticipate some initial bumps in the road. He says that having frank discussions with your partners about potential pitfalls will forge better relationships and better outcomes. Getting all members of the C-suite to wrap their heads around what’s being proposed prior to forming a partnership is also critical.

“You’ve got to be willing to challenge the status quo and say that I’m willing to disrupt myself. I think that those of us in health care have to see ourselves as disruptors, disrupting ourselves, and doing it in partnership with others,” says Dowling.

I couldn’t agree more.

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