The professional skills 6 hospital innovation leaders are focused on

Hospital innovation executives didn't land their roles by being professionally complacent; in fact, they are usually curious people with a drive to improve themselves as well as their organizations.

Here, six chief innovation and digital officers from hospitals and health systems across the country shared the professional skills on which they're currently focused.

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Peter Fleischut, MD, senior vice president and chief transformation officer at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (New York City): My video meeting skills. This is a new era, so we now need to be comfortable giving town halls with 500 people, doing one-on-one meetings, being able to navigate different platforms and engaging people over video in different ways we never had to do before. About half of my team works directly on the front lines in the hospital and pharmacy. The other half of my team is completely virtual. So I need to be able to be on-site and have a presence but also be able to connect with people virtually like I've never done before. The majority of my career has been in-person all of my life, so it's not exactly a skill set that was taught to me, to engage hundreds or thousands of people via video the same way I would do in person.

Omkar Kulkarni, chief innovation officer at Children's Hospital Los Angeles: Being a more empathic listener.

Muthu Krishnan, PhD, chief digital transformation officer at IKS Health (Burr Ridge, Ill.): I am focused on sharpening my AI, machine learning and natural language processing skills.

Aaron Martin, executive vice president and chief digital officer at Providence (Renton, Wash.): In the context of COVID-19, myself and my leadership team are spending a lot more time in one-on-ones, leadership meetings and all-hands meetings to try and preserve that connection with the team. Connecting is a little bit easier if you're all in the office together, but we're still working remotely.

Nick Patel, MD, chief digital officer of Prisma Health (Columbia, S.C.): Delegation and time management. Taking time for yourself.

Omer Awan, chief data and digital officer at Atrium Health (Charlotte, N.C.): Developing skills necessary to thrive in a remote/virtual work environment.

More articles on digital transformation:
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7 hospitals, health systems piloting digital transformation programs
Children's Hospital Los Angeles launches 26-hospital pediatric digital innovation accelerator

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