Feeding organic leadership growth with Dr. Stephen Viel from Halifax Health

Stephen Viel, MD, is the medical director of emergency services at Daytona Beach, Fla-based Halifax Health. 

Dr. Viel will present "Why Now is the Time to Insource your Emergency Physician Services and How to do it Effectively" at Becker's 10th Annual CEO + CFO Roundtable. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference on Nov. 7-10 in Chicago. 

To learn more and register, click here.

Becker's Healthcare aims to foster peer-to-peer conversation between healthcare's brightest leaders and thinkers. In that vein, responses to our Speaker Series are published straight from interviewees. Here is what our speakers had to say.

Question: What is the smartest thing you've done in the last year to set your system up for success?

Dr. Stephen Viel: I have come to embrace my identity as a member of the first cohort of millennial physician leaders, something I initially resisted. Once I got comfortable in my own skin, I could look around and see all the disruption occurring in healthcare as an opportunity. I was also able to see many physician leaders that were playing not to lose. So many leaders, especially physician leaders, are simply trying to resist change or look to go back to "when things were better." The smartest thing we have done was to set up new physician service lines led by empowered and collaborative physician leaders who see opportunity in the waters ahead. New service lines included a combined inpatient and pediatric service line, an emergency department (ED) managed observation unit, and an ED RN residency managed jointly with ED physicians/APPs and RN educators.

Q: What are you most excited about right now and what makes you nervous?

SV: The continued push for consumer-focused healthcare is exciting. While it challenges traditional brick-and-mortar healthcare entities, significant opportunity exists for those who can seize it. This includes aligning services along the patient experience. This experience could be a simple episode of care like breaking your arm and being seen in the urgent care, emergency department and orthopedic follow-up. However, it could also be managing diabetes long-term in and out of the hospital. Entities that can create seamless, coordinated patient experiences integrating innovative technologies will be successful. I am anxious that the push toward consumer-focused healthcare will strain our healthcare safety net. The proliferation of boutique EDs in upper-class neighborhoods and the expansion of for-profit retail healthcare entities will provide a convenience that our public and safety-net hospitals will struggle to compete with. This will cut into their ability to fulfill their missions. 

Q: How are you thinking about growth and investments for the next year or two? 

SV: Now is the time to invest in a streamlined patient experience. You need systems in place to meet patients where they are, on their terms. This may be telehealth services, the ability to text with PCPs, or other patient engagement platforms to interact with patients. 

Q: What will healthcare executives need to be effective leaders for the next five years?

SV: Healthcare executives will continue to need social intelligence, a strong team and the ability to create a bold vision with a strong enough mission to inspire workers. The complex issues spanning more and different fields necessitate a diverse team of leaders working collaboratively toward a well-defined goal. 

Q: How are you building resilient and diverse teams? 

SV: Everyone from the CEO to the unit clerk is considering making a career change. We must continue to feed organic leadership growth. I started using objective interviewing metrics to avoid hiring for sameness in the guise of cultural fit. We are also trying to let go of any left-over ideas of what is essential for a job. If we can make an accommodation to allow someone to continue to be successful in their role, we will strongly entertain it. 

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