Becker's 10th Annual Meeting Speaker Series: 3 Questions with Jonnathan Busko, Emergency Department Medical Director for St. Joseph Hospital

Jonnathan Busko, MD, MPH, FACEP, serves as Emergency Department Medical Director for St. Joseph's Hospital. 

On April 1st, Dr. Busko 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. Busko's session, click here.

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

Jonnathan Busko: The US has operated with a physician / hospital-centric healthcare delivery model for almost a century. Over the next year I will be focusing on how to implement the principle of "Right care, delivered in a timely manner at the least expensive point of service." Working in a relatively rural state where it's not uncommon for every staffed inpatient bed in the state to be occupied, I will be working on projects that put us into a position to deliver appropriate care in less resource intensive locations.

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

JB: It takes time to develop the evidentiary base necessary to practice "evidence based medicine." It's easy to find examples of treatments that were essentially rushed to market with disastrous consequences. That being said, there are tremendous opportunities to find efficiencies in healthcare delivery. Responsibility for the slow pace of innovation in this sector is shared between those who deliver care (providers, nurses, technicians, therapists, etc) who are comfortable with their practice and aren't looking for change, offices and healthcare systems which have developed infrastructure and staffing around specific delivery models and are often inhibited by a sunk-cost effect, and payers and regulators who often financially disincentive change at best and sanction efficiency changes at worst.

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?

JB: I'm blessed to work in an organization that understands that ultimately healthcare is provided by those on the frontlines, not by administrators or non-clinical support staff. When I first considered a leadership position, I was given a copy of James Hunter's The Servant: A simple story of the true essence of leadership. This was required reading for anyone in a leadership role in the hospital. Greatness in our team is when we identify a critical patient need for which every level of leadership supports the actions necessary to meet that need and support the frontline staff delivering that care, regardless of financial or other consequences.

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