Becker's 10th Annual Meeting Speaker Series: 3 Questions with Elizabeth Brill, Chief of Staff for Cincinnati VA Medical Center

Elizabeth Brill, MD, MBA, FACOG, serves as Chief of Staff for Cincinnati VA Medical Center. 

On April 2nd, Dr. Brill 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. Brill's session, click here.

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

Elizabeth Brill: The sheer volume of regulatory requirements they must consider. The stakeholders - patients, physicians, insurers, the hospital board, vendors, etc. that they must balance in the face of a lack of alignment around incentives of those stakeholders. Add to this backdrop a very low tolerance for risk due to the high cost of failure. Leaders, however insightful or visionary themselves, have a tremendously complex enterprise they need to bring along with them.

Q: What one strategic initiative will demand the most of your time and energy in 2019?

EB: Determining how to provide the best medical care for veterans within our hospital system as we offer them more choice to seek care outside of the system. Defining what services to grow, how to partner with other hospitals in our system and what care is best provided by our private sector partners. While adjusting and shifting care, maintaining our commitment to providing the highest quality graduate medical education.

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

EB: It is slow. On the provider side of healthcare, most have been in healthcare their entire career and don’t naturally look to other industries for examples of how do things differently. Additionally, so much energy is spent on improving performance against known benchmarks, there is often little energy leftover to question and change paradigms. Further, getting buy-in for change is challenging, given the numerous stakeholders involved.

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