Becker's 10th Annual Meeting Speaker Series: 3 Questions with Dennis Lund, Chief Medical Officer for Stanford Children's Health and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford

Dennis Lund, MD, serves as Chief Medical Officer for Standford Children's Health and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford.

On April 1st, Dr. Lund will speak at Becker's Hospital Review 10th Annual Meeting. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place April 1-4, 2019 in Chicago.

To learn more about the conference and Dr. Lund's session, click here.

Question: What do innovators/entrepreneurs from outside healthcare need to better understand about hospital and health system leaders?

Dennis Lund: Healthcare is not like any other form of consumer business; first, quality in healthcare is expected and assumed from every provider – physicians and hospitals – but there is not uniform quality and there are not uniformly accepted metrics for quality that are meaningful to the average patient/consumer. Second, the complexity of healthcare finance and the frequent and urgent need for healthcare services preclude the patient’s option to comparison shop in many cases. Finally, the payment mechanisms for hospital care are so convoluted, driven primarily by government payment structures that don’t sufficiently cover costs, leading to frequent cost shifting and confusing pricing.

Q: Healthcare takes a lot of heat for not innovating quickly. What's your take on this?

DL: There is a long held maxim in medicine that it takes an average of 17 years for clinically proven medical knowledge to become standard care for patients. There are a variety of reasons for this, only some of which are due to the inherently cautious healthcare providers. Another maxim in healthcare is “never be the first or the last to accept a new innovation.” The issue with this perspective is the exponentially rapid accumulation of medical knowledge. The reality is that patients with severe health problems demand rapid innovation, or at least attempts at innovation. While a rapid innovation approach is fraught with risks, as we move forward, providers and patients will need to find a way to “share” the risks associated with trying to fast track new therapies.

Q: Can you share some praise with us about people you work with? What does greatness look like to you when it comes to your team?

DL: I’ve been extremely fortunate to work with a tremendous leadership team at Stanford Children’s Health. First, people who work in pediatrics tend to be very mission-driven and that is certainly the case of the people with whom I work. Our institution has a dedicated focus on respect for people and we live this every day. As a Lean organization, we have 5 levels of daily huddles and every team/unit/department has a visibility wall, and in every huddle and on every wall is recognition of our outstanding performers. I also have a deep appreciation and pride for the strong presence of women leaders in our organization; making our collective leadership team more creative and bringing vital perspective into how we care for our patients and employees and approach problem-solving.

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