Becker's Health IT + Clinical Leadership + Pharmacy: 3 Questions with Shaun Phillips, Vice President of Clinical and Pharmacy Services for Bronson Healthcare Group

Shaun Phillips, PharmD, MBA, serves as Vice President of Clinical and Pharmacy Services for Bronson Healthcare Group and Adjunct Professor of Administrative Pharmacy Practice and Chair of Honors Program Advisory Board for Ferris State University. 

On May 2nd, Shaun will serve on the panel "Health IT Technology and Behavioral Health" at Becker's Health IT + Clinical Leadership + Pharmacy conference. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place May 2-4, 2019 in Chicago.

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

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

Shaun Phillips: Our strategic focus will continue to be getting care out of the hospital and pushed out into our communities. We can no longer be hospitals with just a few physician practices out there to drive business back to the hospital. Health systems need to push into more types of ambulatory spaces, and figure out how to be profitable in providing that less acute and far more common type of care. For me, that includes having a network of various types of pharmacies that will help to better care for patients needing various types of drug products. Specialty prescriptions, compounded preparations, infusions, and the like are all areas where we can provide better service than our competitors and can still produce a good margin.

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

SP: People outside of healthcare think about our industry just at the point of patient care. When it comes to patient care, we are slow to innovate because change can be detrimental. Such detriment can result in delays in care, or far worse, in patient harm. Additionally, the regulations around healthcare, particularly in regards to new drugs, devices, or techniques, are built to protect patients, but they can also slow innovation. I think we are doing great work to innovate on the portions of the business around patient care. From patient registration, data analytics, supply chain, construction, and so many support functions, there is a lot of great stuff going on. The problem is not that we are not innovating, but it is hard to push best, let alone better, practices throughout the industry.

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?

Sp: I am very lucky to work with a group of people that are not afraid of change, keep positive attitudes, and are great problem solvers. We have had two major water issues in our community. While not as bad as some other communities in Michigan, we had a manganese contamination and the loss of a main supply line in the past 12 months. Losing water is a major problem, but even more so for hospitals that need safe water for our core systems and patient care. In both instances, we opened up our Incident Command structure and pull a team together to talk about what is needed to keep care going, what can be done to mitigate the situation, and what should be held off to lessen the organizational stress level. The work done was great as we were able to keep patients safe and ensure our community had access to care, but the positivity and can-do attitude from our leaders, providers, and staff showed how resilient and talented we are as an organization!

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