Becker's 11th Annual Meeting: 3 Questions with Rick Goins, Chief Executive Officer at Massac Memorial Hospital

Virginia Egizio - Print  | 

Rick Goins, DHA, MHA, serves as Chief Executive Officer at Massac Memorial Hospital. 

On April 7th, Rick will serve on the panel "How to Develop Leaders Throughout an Organization" at Becker's Hospital Review 11th 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 on April 6-9, 2020 in Chicago.

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

Question: What, from your perspective, is the biggest challenge about the future of work for hospitals, and what can they do about it? (i.e. automation, desire for more flexibility, clinician shortages, etc.)

Rick Goins: Recruiting physicians, especially specialists, remains to be a challenge for rural hospitals. It is difficult to meet the needs of your community and provide comprehensive care when access to specialty care is limited and travel to larger more urban hospitals is required. This challenge requires physicians who are in our hospital to expand their capabilities and do more in order for us to care for our patients. To meet this challenge we are going to have to develop partnerships with larger health systems in order to streamline access to specialty care and potentially leverage telehealth to care for our patients while they are in our hospital.

Q: What, if anything, should hospitals be doing now given economists' projections of a forthcoming economic downturn?

RG: This is a difficult question to answer as we do not know exactly when the economy will slow down. What we can do now is take advantage of the current economy to leverage capital and invest in our organization so that we can grow our capabilities and services. At the same time we should be looking for ways to create efficiencies and lean out our operation so that we are prepared for the slower economic times of the future.

Q: What's one lesson you learned early in your career that has helped you lead in healthcare?

RG: A key skill for any leader in healthcare is to be flexible and adapt to the needs of your community. A lesson that I learned early in my career was that in order to be successful we have to be willing to change and adapt to the needs of the population that we care for. Innovation and developments in medicine are happing at such a rapid pace and this requires us to constantly evaluate how we can use these developments to bring better care to our patients.

"What's one lesson you learned early in your career that has helped you lead in healthcare?
The greatest lessons I learned in healthcare were three things on my first day of medical school: “listen to your patients they will tell you what is wrong, don’t be over-enamored with technology, and give every patient something for their time of need”. More true today!

What do you see as the most exciting opportunity in healthcare right now?
With society’s obsession with technology, now is the time to harness cutting edge technology to facilitate the human interaction, not replace it.

Healthcare has had calls for disruption, innovation and transformation for years now. Do you feel we are seeing that change? Why or why not?
As the saying goes, “One person’s innovation is another person’s disruption”. Transformation may be the most over-used word in healthcare today. True transformation (dramatic change) will come from a grass roots movement (outside the corporate walls) and led by synthetical thinkers who by doing what is best for patients will find it is best for business."

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