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.

Read More

Never Under-Estimate the Value of Proactivity

I was very gratified to participate in the Becker’s Hospital Review 7th Annual Meeting. I had the opportunity to introduce a keynote panel, whose topic was “Key Strategies and Trends,” and I also participated in a panel that explored “The Biggest Issues and Opportunities for Healthcare.”

I came away from the conference invigorated by the new ideas we all shared. When I got back to the office after the meeting, there was a letter from Scott Becker that reiterated what I would consider the one main point to highlight: That a real differentiator between surviving and success is proactivity.

Read More

Health Transformation Alliance Looking to Disrupt Healthcare for Its Employees

When 20 of the United States’ largest companies (including American Express, Coca-Cola and Verizon) announced the formation of the Health Transformation Alliance that covers approximately four million people, they got everyone’s attention. In creating the Alliance, the companies have banded together to use their collective data and market power in a bid to hold down the cost of health-care benefits.

Alliance members intend to share information about employee health spending and outcomes, with a goal to use those findings to change how they contract for care. According to the Wall Street Journal, some members say they might even form a purchasing cooperative to negotiate for lower prices, or attempt to change their relationships with insurance administrators and drug-benefit managers.

Read More

Air Traffic Control and Healthcare?

I recently read a MedCityNews post that used an air traffic control metaphor to describe what the future of healthcare could look like. The article compares the future of hospital operations with how air traffic control’s efficient and streamlined scheduling and operations transformed air travel.

The idea of pulling together activities that if treated individually and uncoordinated could be dangerous and/or cause service disruption resonates. We look at healthcare logistics in a similar manner. How can we take activities that used to be handled individually and develop new processes and infrastructure to turn those individual components into something better?

Read More

Systemness: Integrating to deliver seamless, cost-effective, high quality care

Systemness is a term that is being used more and more frequently in healthcare. The word itself is a bit clumsy, but its meaning very much affects our industry.

A recent post from the Advisory Board Company describes it this way, “at its essence, systemness is about integrating all aspects of a health system’s governance, operations, and workflows—across all technologies, clinicians, and locations—to deliver seamless, cost-effective, high-quality care.”

The Advisory Board recently conducted a survey of over 150 health system executives, and the conclusion was that those leaders said, “in no uncertain terms that their organizational success depends on greater integration, and greater integration depends on their ability to do concrete things that reduce variation, improve coordination, and improve the flow of information.”

Read More

Why Questioning the Status Quo Builds Better Leaders to “Think Different”

There’s a post that I read a while back on Inc. that keeps coming back to me. “Why Great Leaders Question the Status Quo: Being a thoughtful, creative leader means moving beyond the confines of tradition,” was written by Micah Solomon.

We all know of great thinkers and business leaders who question the status quo, and Solomon cites the late Steve Jobs of Apple as a prime example. The indelibly memorable “Think Different” advertising campaign that helped bring Apple back from the brink in 1997 completely highlighted the fact that Apple products and its leader were different from the rest of the world.

Read More

What’s Keeping Healthcare CEOs up at Night?

We know that today’s CEOs face unprecedented challenges. New regulations and declining payments are two of the biggest hurdles, but what else keeps healthcare leaders up at night? I recently read a survey from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions that I found very interesting.

The survey asked that very question of CEOs at large hospitals and health systems (greater than $1 billion in revenue). Unsurprisingly, the CEOs anticipate that value-based care (VBC) will reshape the future of healthcare. As hospitals are paid differently, profitability will be harder to achieve.

Read More

Frugal Innovation: Healthcare’s Answer to Transformation?

Often, innovation and technology are thought of as the same thing. But, aren’t there ways to innovate that aren’t tied to huge investments in the latest and greatest technology? Innovation isn’t only about “stuff,” it’s also about looking at new or different approaches that can move the needle on productivity and other outcomes.

Along these lines, a recent Becker’s Health IT article caught my attention. The subject was “frugal innovation,” the idea of doing more with less. The healthcare industry is particularly primed to take a serious look at frugal innovation.

Read More

“Farm to Table”: An Innovative Way to Improve Population Health

By Bonni Kaplan DeWoskin, Vice President, Marketing

 

As a marketer, I’m always curious about new and interesting ways organizations—particularly healthcare organizations—market themselves. A recent article in Modern Healthcare about health systems using their food service as part of population health was really instructive.

Historically, when we think of hospital food, we put it on the same caliber as our elementary school cafeteria: edible, but not great.

However, some healthcare organizations around the country have stepped up their food service significantly, with the goal of attracting people who don’t “have to” eat there.

Read More

The Lessons We Can Learn from RadioShack

I’ve written before about lessons the healthcare industry can learn from the general business community. The story of the eventual collapse of 94-year old RadioShack, as posted by Becker’s Hospital Review, is another great lesson we can learn – and a cautionary tale for us all. As Tamara Rosin wrote:

RadioShack, like all businesses, is not immune to the impacts of changing technology and evolving consumer forces. Adaptability, business savvy, connectivity with consumers and strong leadership are critical for sustaining in a fast-paced market.

Ms. Rosin then goes on to list some key lessons to prevent your hospital from going the way of RadioShack.

Read More