23 healthcare CEOs share their 'word of the year' for 2023

Chief executives across healthcare are focused on customer service, urgency and simplicity for their organizations and customers in 2023.

Becker's connected with healthcare industry CEOs to ask what their "word of the year" is for 2023 and what factors are driving their strategy this year. For more high level executive insight, join us at the Becker's 13th Annual Meeting in Chicago, April 3-6. For more information about exhibitor and sponsor opportunities, contact Jessica Cole at jcole@beckershealthcare.com and Ally Warner at awarner@beckershealthcare.com.

Here is what the CEOs had to say.

Matt Hawkins. CEO of Waystar (Salt Lake City, Utah): 'Purpose.' At Waystar, each team member shows up with purpose, every day and in every interaction: to create innovative purpose-built solutions, provide exceptional client success, and deliver demonstrable ROI to our clients. It is not happenstance; it’s with purpose
and intentionality that we simplify and humanize healthcare payments -- so our clients can focus on their purpose: healthy patients and communities.

Leif Murphy. CEO of TeamHealth: 'Forward together' highlights the need post-pandemic for clinicians and the organizations that support them to unite together to ensure patients receive high-quality care no matter where they seek it in the care continuum — from virtual care to post-acute care.

David Thawley. CEO of HST Pathways: “Customer delight”. HST has benefits from very high customer retention, and growing our business alongside the success and expansion of our clients. We’re doubling down on our investments to further increase customer delight and to partner with our clients to address their unmet needs.

Paul Hiltz. President and CEO of NCH Healthcare System: Our word of the year is 'Speed.' We can't afford to wait to make needed changes. There is too much at stake. We have to implement changes with speed.

Jason Haider. Founder and CEO of Xenco Medical: The word that resonates most with Xenco Medical this year is 'continuum.' As a patient-centric company, we've made it our mission this year to expand the scope of our commitment to a patient's recovery by addressing the entire continuum of care. Our deepening commitment to the continuum of care spans the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative phases of a patient's surgical journey.

Ron Remy. CEO of Mobile Heartbeat: 'Lean.' Why? We need to apply 'Lean' to our product line and help our hospital clients achieve lean-thinking results.

James A. Jorgenson. CEO of Visante: For Visante the word for this year is 'urgency.' Hospitals are struggling and need immediate help with new ideas and new ways of thinking.

Dan Collard. Co-Founder of Healthcare Plus Solutions Group: 'Simplify.' The last 35 months have given us the opportunity to break down the sometimes too-complicated approaches we take. For new leaders especially, we have to simplify.

Michael C. Meng. CEO of stellarhealth: Our word of the year is 'Focus.' I think what rising interest rates and therefore discount rates has taught us is that in 2023 and going forward, focus is more important than ever before. It's as much about the thing we say 'no' to as it is the things we say 'yes' to and that we need to be ruthless about what we spend time on in 2023.

Christopher Hart. CEO of Office Ally: Simplify.

Jeffry A. Peters. Founder and Chairman of Surgical Directions: 'Impactful.' Healthcare leaders have the opportunity to positively impact millions of patients and families lives. To better support our healthcare providers and improve patient outcomes, we need to explore new structures and compensation models that incentivize and motivate providers to provide the best possible care. By investing in our providers, we can revolutionize the way we deliver care and create a more sustainable and fulfilling future for our healthcare system.

Jim Costanzo. CEO of Nordic Consulting Partners, Inc.: 'Personalization.' At Nordic, we focus on collaborating with our healthcare clients to ensure their patients experience a personalized approach to healthcare to help their providers and caregivers deliver the right care to each person. This individualization creates an environment in which patients receive care in a holistic manner, with everyone involved in their care program having transparency to make certain each patient’s needs are being addressed at the right time.

Beto Casellas. Executive Vice President and CEO, Health & Wellness of Synchrony: The word of the year for Synchrony Health & Wellness is 'customer,' because our mission is centered on making payments easier for providers and patients so that they can get the care they need or want when they need or want it. As evidenced in our recent Lifetime of Healthcare Costs report, this begins by making our financial solutions, tools and resources widely available across healthcare settings with easy-to-understand information and convenient ways to access them due to the expenses of healthcare costs over a lifetime.

Erick McKesson. CEO and Founder of Rotera: 'Constellation.' Over the past few years with COVID and economical woes, the industry has been running around like a dog in a room full of tennis balls. Rotera has made some great advancements, but this year we need to focus on aligning all the stars: our team, our product, and our customers.

Terry Shaw. President and CEO of AdventHealth: At AdventHealth, our word of the year is “wholeness.” Whole-person care is the lens through which we care for the bodies, minds and spirits of those we serve. Over the past year we’ve refined the lens through which we view and understand what it means to feel whole, and we are looking at new ways to extend this care where it’s needed to our team members, patients and communities.

William Patterson. CEO and Founder of CareRev: 'Automation.' The human touch required to provide high-quality care will never change, and it shouldn't. But the only way for health systems to continue providing the best care will be by automating manual processes. This means using the right technology platforms to better support operators in making the most accurate, data-backed decisions.

Lou Silverman. CEO of Hicuity Health: 'Clarity.' In busy times where healthcare entities are navigating near constant change and innovation, success is only possible with clarity of mission, of vision, of strategy, of thought, of communication, of expectation and of intention. The opposites of clarity – confusion, ambiguity and uncertainty – make success near impossible.

Marcus Perez. President of Altera Digital Health: 'Urgency'; I genuinely believe we can offer real value to the market in terms of a true EHR partner. Candidly, in order to make that a reality in the future, we need to deliver for our clients at a much different pace than the past. Our goal is to have our clients view us as Insanely Great; we are not there today, but that is where we must get to from a current system efficiency and value delivery perspective. That is the stepping stone to drive innovation for the future.

Gerry McCarthy. CEO and Board Director of Merative: For Merative in 2023, our word is 'focus' because that’s how we will deliver value to our clients. Building on 50 years of experience, we’re focused on restoring our six core product areas (Health Insights, MarketScan, Merge, Micromedex, Social Program Management and Zelta) and returning to growth.

John Hatchell. Co-Founder and CEO of TYDEi Health: SIMPLIFY. The complexity of healthcare is multifaceted from care delivery to finance and beyond. It is the single biggest contributor to cost of care, which in our opinion is not sustainable for much longer. If your company is not focused on streamlining and improving these standards, you are missing the mark.

Mario Schlosser, Co-Founder and CEO of Oscar Health: 'Automation.' We've been building infrastructure for 10 years to run our own healthcare technology stack end to end. Bad systems and manual work are one reason why healthcare costs are so stubbornly high. But calling for efficiency isn't enough; we need to automate a lot more of how healthcare runs.

Jon Shreve. President and CEO of MCG Health: 'Automate.' Healthcare organizations are suffering from lack of resources and inefficient workflows. Automation, supported by evidence-based guidelines, has the potential to solve these problems, improve patient outcomes and positively impact the bottom line.

Michael Alkire. President and CEO of Premier, Inc: Premier’s word of the year is 'modernization.' The U.S. healthcare ecosystem is ripe for modernization and innovation – we have stagnated for too long. Premier is at the forefront of driving modernization across the system, leveraging technology solutions and actionable data to ensure that our healthcare system is resilient and sustainable into the future.

Milind Godbole. CEO and Managing Director of GeBBS Healthcare Solutions: The 'word of the year' for our organization is 'Automation.' We are making efforts to remove system redundancies and reliance on human capital by automating our processes. Automation will help our organization to increase work efficiency, bring operational excellence, remove manual, mundane/ repetitive tasks and help us and our clients with revenue optimization.

Jim Gallas. Healthcare Industry Business Leader at Huron: Innovation – Given today’s market dynamics, now more than ever, innovation is the key to unlocking the full potential for clients, patients, and communities.

Jon Zimmerman. CEO of Holon Solutions: Our word of the year for Holon is 'human.' The healthcare system has become disjointed for both healthcare workers and their patients, and we believe that putting the needs and experiences of real people at the center of everything we do is the key to making care delivery a more personal and empathetic experience for everyone involved.

Chuck Harbison. Vice President of Business Development at National Cardiovascular Partners: NCP’s word of the year is actually two words: "All In." We have challenged our colleagues and partners to be "All In," meaning we will exceed the expectations of our patients, our physician partners, and each other, every day and in everything we do.

Jeff Fallon. Chair and CEO of Vibe Health by eVideon: 'Partnership': We call our clients Partners because we work closely together to make their vision for the future a reality with vital tools that help nurses have more time for care because they spend less time on non-clinical stuff.

Derek Streat. Co-Founder and CEO of DexCare: From our perspective, the word of the year is 'merchandising,' which we view as the next frontier in perfecting the way healthcare consumers search for, discover, book, and access care, similar to how streamlined the consumer online shopping experience is. Most industries outside of healthcare are characterized by consumer-centric traits such as speed, convenience, and customization, and we're on a mission to bring the same principles to healthcare to modernize the patient journey.

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