Becker's 10th Annual Meeting Speaker Series: 3 Questions with Stonish Pierce, System Vice President of Specialty Services for Beaumont Health

Stonish Pierce, FACHE, serves as System Vice President of Specialty Services for Beaumont Health. 

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

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

Stonish Pierce: As we’re faced with the challenge of doing more with less, we are eager for innovations that meets our goals of enhancing the Triple Aim of enhancing quality, reducing costs and improving access/experience. The caveat with innovation is to understand that healthcare is one of the most heavily regulated industries, so innovators need to be patient, aware of the regulatory environment in which we operate and be prepared to endure potential scrutiny of non-traditional ideas before these ideas are considered for adoption. Many healthcare leaders are cognizant of the various non-traditional competitors now in existence and others with the potential to further disrupt our industry, so many health system leaders are obviously open to change to succeed in the value-based and consumer-centric care environment of tomorrow.

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

SP: As a whole, compared to many other industries, healthcare may indeed not innovate as quickly and may lack overall adoption of consumer-friendly technologies, but as mentioned previously, we are also a heavily regulated industry. Can we imagine banking these days without ATM machines or the ability to conduct most banking transactions without physically visiting a bank? The answer for most is likely “no” and most people born after 1970 have no idea of life without these conveniences.

In healthcare, we still have quite a way to go with EMR interoperability, the average health system leveraging innovation as a key imperative and many of the existing and projected consumer-facing options (i.e. video visits, telemedicine, wearable devices, online scheduling, portals, artificial intelligence) being synonymous. From my personal experience, it takes stamina and vision to facilitate changes that disrupt our traditional health system expectations. Recalling a recent professional experience in partnering with a technology company to deploy what I initially envisioned as a simple text messaging program solution to enhance care compliance for recently discharged CHF, oncology and other select patients; reaching the consensus to partner was the easiest part of the process. The rigor that was involved in vetting from legal, compliance, IT and Finance to name a few, was second to none! Not to say that these checkpoints are not necessary, but there are some reasons why healthcare has not innovated as quickly as other industries.

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

SP: Physician manpower planning in support of system service line priorities will consume much of my time in 2019. As health systems are forced to “do more with less,” evaluating economies of scale, call coverage, succession planning, physician compensation and recruitment will all play a role in making manpower planning a priority and an initiative that will require tremendous energy this year.

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