3 hospital execs on the best change they made in 2019

The move to digital, a growing dialogue around healthcare affordability and different payment structures informed big changes three healthcare executives made in 2019, according to their discussion during a recent leadership panel.

The panel, titled "The Best Initiative and Change We Made in the Last Year and How We Did," took place at the Becker's Hospital Review 8th Annual CEO + CFO Roundtable in November. During the discussion, three healthcare executives answered the same question: What is the best change you've made in the past year and how?

The three panelists were:

  • Steven Goldstein, CEO of Strong Memorial Hospital and Highland Hospital, both in Rochester, N.Y.
  • James Hereford, president and CEO of Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis 
  • Giovanni Piedimonte, MD, vice president for research at Tulane University in New Orleans

Here are three takeaways from their discussion:

1. Move to digital now. The panelists spoke about how they've recently started completely digitizing and automating certain areas of their institution. One speaker said the best change his institution undertook was digitizing its grant application process and using more artificial intelligence modules to complete tasks. The move has allowed researchers to access and edit a living document in real time without a paper backlog, he said.

2. Improve patient communication. High-deductible health plans and consumerism are putting a greater emphasis on healthcare affordability. One of the speakers said the best change his organization made in the past year was deploying a new operations center to centralize communications with patients and their caregivers. This decision came after the organization realized a growing need to be better equipped for changing payment avenues, he said.

3. Embrace global payment models. While healthcare remains a largely fee-for-service system, the executives spoke about how some of the best changes they made in the past year involved value-based initiatives. One speaker said his organization launched an ACO spanning eight hospitals and 2,200 physicians who manage a global payment budget of about $2.4 billion. The case management aspect of the program has attracted private practitioners and others who want to join the system in its value-based initiatives, he said.

More articles on leadership and management:
It's in the details: How a fitted sheet spurred hospitalwide change at Tampa General
'Stealth CEO factories' produce top-notch leaders
Cook County Board wants power to appoint Illinois public health system's next CEO, determine salary package

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