The 1 thing the pandemic taught Dennis Delisle from University Hospital & Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital

Dennis Delisle is the executive director at Columbus, Ohio-based University Hospital & Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital. 

Mr. Delisle will serve on the panel "Rethinking Ambulatory Care Strategies for Hospitals and Health Systems" 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?  

Dennis Delisle: Healthcare is a team sport and we rely on interdisciplinary collaboration across care settings to ensure we're delivering what our patients need, where they need it. We implemented a triad leadership model across the academic medical center. The triad model includes a physician, nurse and administrative leader with shared decision-making responsibility and accountability for services within their scope. These leaders partner with the local unit-level dyad (unit medical director and nurse manager). This model will position us to strengthen integrated strategic plans, drive clinical quality and safety initiatives, and foster a  high-performing, reliable team-of-teams framework.

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

DD: We are investing in significant growth at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center over the coming years. We are expanding the physical footprint by constructing outpatient clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, and an 820-bed inpatient hospital tower that will open in 2026. This excites and scares me as a healthcare leader, given the labor market. We struggle to fill critical roles throughout our system today, much like our colleagues throughout Ohio and the country. The prospect of opening new facilities and creating more jobs to fill is daunting yet exciting. We are working hard to develop talent pipelines while continuing to invest in retaining our current workforce. The pandemic fundamentally shifted our perspective on the future and highlights the need to engage deeply with our community partners, school systems, and other universities/ community colleges to identify and develop clinicians, service experts and leaders of the future. 

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

DD: If the pandemic taught me one thing, it is the importance of meaningful connections. The financial outlook for most healthcare delivery organizations is bleak. Staffing levels and clinical volumes remain lower while labor and supply costs rise. We will certainly need the requisite business acumen to navigate through the complexity of healthcare. However, fundamental to any organization's success is its people. As a leader, one of the most important things you can do is invest in your people and teams. As the quote goes, "Leaders don't create followers, they create more leaders" by Tom Peters. Retaining top talent in a competitive market is critical for short- and longer-term success. Healthcare, at its core, is about people caring for other people. Any leader would benefit from this perspective, especially those in executive roles.

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