4 questions with Mike Murphy, CEO of Sharp HealthCare

As president and CEO of Sharp HealthCare, Mike Murphy has dedicated his time to making Sharp the best place to work, practice medicine and receive care.

This care philosophy, called The Sharp Experience, was launched in 2001 and influences everything the nonprofit health system does. Based in San Diego, Sharp has four acute-care hospitals, three specialty hospitals and two affiliated medical groups. In 2013, Becker's named it to its list of "100 Integrated Systems to Know."

Mr. Murphy took the helm at Sharp in 1996, and his leadership earned him a place on the Becker's 2013 list of "66 Hospital and Health System CEOs with the Longest Tenures." As a native of San Diego, Mr. Murphy serves as a member of the board of directors for the State of California Chamber of Commerce.

Here Mr. Murphy talked about what's new at Sharp, what makes San Diego a fascinating market and which CEO he admires the most.

Question: What have been some of the most recent events and developments at Sharp?

One of the biggest events each year is the All-Staff Assembly. We recently had our 15th annual assembly. It brings our people together to celebrate, refresh, renew and be the best we can be for our patients and community. We had 14,000 people attend over the three-day event. It has a huge impact on our organization and culture. It's energizing to have been through it and to have celebrated the wonderful things the people of Sharp do.

After quite a bit of work, we recently relaunched our Sharp.com website. We modernized it, and we think it's now very up-to-date. It was a good website in the past, and now it's better.

We also recently opened a Sharp News Room, which can be accessed through the website. We post two to four news stories a day about what's happening at Sharp and what's trending in healthcare.

We're also celebrating our growth, including our health plan, which has had a successful couple of years. Sharp Health Plan is a big piece of what's moving us forward. We're also doing a lot of investment in our tech and infrastructure. We're building a new hospital tower in Chula Vista and new ambulatory buildings in North County.

Q: What is one trait of the best boss you've ever had?

I would say integrity and honesty, which go together.

I've had a lot of good bosses and good mentors, and the trait they all had in common is their integrity and their honesty. They do what they say and they say what they do. I can trust them, I believe in them, and that's why they've made a difference.

Q: What is unique about the San Diego market?

San Diego and California have a history of being more into risk-based payments. In San Diego, there's still a large portion of patients in the global capitation model. We're more advanced in taking global risk, whether from our payers or our own health plan. I think a piece of that is the presence of Kaiser in the marketplace. Our model is a little more focused on a risk-based model because we have a longer history of that than many markets in the country. We've had our own health plan since 1991 and have taken global risk since 1985.

Another thing that's different in California is that we still have the corporate practice of medicine prohibition. Providers cannot employ physicians. There are models we work with that are employment-like, but they're not employment.

Q: What other CEOs do you look up to and why?

The CEO I look up to most is not in healthcare — it's my dad, who owned and ran a relatively small automobile dealership in San Diego. It was a small company with anywhere from 40 to 100 employees at any given time.

I grew up watching my dad run a business, and most of what I learned came from him. I believe most of who I am and how I operate is driven by how he treated people, his company and his customers.

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