5 healthcare executives share their best piece of advice

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At the Becker's Hospital Review CEO Strategy Roundtable in Chicago on Nov. 5, a panel of industry experts shared some of the biggest opportunities for and threats to hospitals, as well as advice to fellow leaders.

Panelists included Paul Summerside, MD, MMM, CMO of Green Bay, Wis.-based BayCare Clinic; Donald Lovasz, president and CEO of Louisville-based KentuckyOne Health Partners; José Sánchez, president and CEO of Norwegian American Hospital in Chicago; Eric Barber, president and CEO of Hastings, Neb.-based Mary Lanning Healthcare; and Steve M. Massey, president and CEO of Westfields Hospital in New Richmond, Wis.

Opportunities highlighted by the diverse group ranged from improving quality, gaining market share and partnering with other providers.

Threats to hospitals also varied, including integrating different information technology systems and remaining independent in an era when mergers and acquisitions are so commonplace.

The panelists concluded by giving some of the following pieces of advice for leaders in their positions.

Dr. Summerside: Approach your day with humility, a true understanding that you really don't know the business, and curiosity. You should always come in just wondering, wondering, wondering what you can do. And you also need ruthlessness, you need to not be afraid to cut the offending limb off, if that's what you have to do.

Mr. Lovasz: Learn from others. Also, continue to try and understand your client, the ones paying your contracts, and your customers who are using your service. You need to keep asking and understanding what they are really looking for.

Mr. Sánchez: If I reflect back on my experiences, my best advice is to really be aware of your surroundings. You need to know what's going on internally and externally, you need to know what's changing. You also need to always continue to focus on quality. The results that we have been able to achieve in quality builds a level of confidence and morale in physicians and staff.

Mr. Barber: My best advice is you have to keep focused on what's best for your patients. Regardless of whether you're trying to negotiate with Blue Cross, collaborate with your medical staff or drive engagement with your employees, every one of those things has an impact on the patient experience. If you maintain that focus, you're going to be successful.

Mr. Massey: In addition to not being afraid to make the tough decisions when needed, you should really invest in and develop physician leadership. Lastly, be a change agent. The future is going to be full of changes, so try to be that spark in the organization.



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Becker's CEO roundtable: 12 healthcare leaders on their priorities, the PPACA and physicians

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