Becker's 10th Annual Meeting Speaker Series: 3 Questions with Matthew Gibson, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for Erlanger Health System

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Matthew Gibson, PhD, FACHE, serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for Erlanger Health System.

On April 1st, Matthew 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 Matthew's session, click here.

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

Matthew Gibson: That advancing a solution and monetizing a product takes patience and exceptional communication skills. Per the complexity of the organizations that we are leading an excellent, value adding idea may never reach the appropriate decision makers. More often I have seen the entrepreneur reach the right audience, but awkwardly broach the discussion or ineffectively communicate the value proposition in the limited window they have with stakeholders. Written, in person, and presentation communication skills are essential to realizing success when working with hospital and health system leaders.

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

MG: Like any industry we have pockets of excellence and cadres of slow adopters. I do think there is some legitimacy to the hypothesis, healthcare is not innovative enough. Our industry has significant patient experience and efficiency enhancement opportunities. Leveraging technology, our data, and our existing physician and other clinician talent are essential for health systems to take an active role in driving innovation. These opportunities for improvement also make health care providers vulnerable to the corpus of new entrants into our industry. However, this push can make us all better and presents opportunities for unique, previously inconceivable partnerships with the new players in our new industry.

Q: Tell us about the last meaningful interaction you had with a patient.

MG: I actually had two telling patient interactions in one day recently. First, a relatively healthy patient made me aware she had to wait an extended period of time during her scheduled appointment with one of our physicians. She was pleased with the care once she reached the physician, but a suboptimal period of time in the clinic waiting room was a significant dissatisfier for this patient. Conversely, later that day another patient contacted me to let me know how smooth his recent surgical experience at Erlanger was for him and his family. He had been dreading his surgery for months and was quite pleased that the surgical care process was so seamless. Like most health systems we have high quality, patient centered care being delivered every day across our markets. However, these two disparate discussions last Tuesday were direct reminders that we have not yet arrived and there is important work to be done.

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