Becker's Health IT + Revenue Cycle 2019: 3 Questions with Anthony Dias, Vice President of Data Services for Connecticut Hospital Association.

Anthony Dias serves as Vice President of Data Services for Connecticut Hospital Association.

On October 10th, Anthony will serve on the panel "Population Health, Data Analysis and the Impact on Services" at Becker's Annual Health IT + Revenue Cycle 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 October 9-12, 2019 in Chicago.

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

Question: What is the No. 1 principle you uphold and practice to effectively lead a team?

Anthony Dias: Every team, like a hive of bees, is a division of labor. Teams have responsibilities and with role clarity and a lot of communication, they know that they are accountable and hence need to stay focused on the goals. Successfully leading a team is a practice that is dependent on a set of principles that are commonly understood and embraced. To effectively lead a team, I recognize the need to have a clear vision, foster strengths, recognize weaknesses and leverage talents of each team member. There is a need to understand unique personalities and differentiate between each of their communication styles. Within an innovative work environment such as ours, I have to be impatient for timely results while remaining disciplined to foster trust, demonstrate empathy, and keep an open mind to gathering new ideas. As a team leader focused on high performance, I always take ownership of failures and openly share successes with my team. To be a productive leader, I recognize the need to be consultative while guiding my team and share as much information as possible, so that they are inspired to do their best. Above all, in order to motivate, build confidence and inspire my team, it is imperative that I lead by example and with the utmost integrity.

Q: As a leader, how do you stay connected to the actual work that is being done – and not just by watching others execute, but by executing yourself? If so, how do you balance between leading and executing personally?

AD: To be highly effective, I plan for execution on a daily basis. Being detail oriented, I rely on my team for information to make good decisions. During debriefs and team huddles, we share perspectives and insights that I track very closely. When I lead new product design efforts, it is always all hands on deck and all team members provide input as we test our thinking and focus on risks and value.

Team members are in a buddy system to tackle challenges and they rely on each other to test, validate and share responsibilities while advancing deliverables in tight timelines. When we perform routine status checks, the team understands that we may need to redirect. As projects advance, milestones have to be acknowledged and team efforts celebrated. Leaders who think that their team members have to do the work because they are paid for it, don’t really get it. Effective leaders inspire by taking responsibilities and participating in the execution.

As we focus on strategies to develop new products and expand markets for our products, there is an interdependence on the team to meet time-bound commitments with superior work effort. Even though we expect efficient workflows, we are constantly faced with risks and threats of failure. The anticipation of such threats through preoccupation with failure helps mitigate such risks.

Q: What is one topic or issue you've been investing time in to better understand as of late?

AD: In today’s healthcare marketplace focused on payment innovation, clinical transformation, and medical management, there is a tremendous demand for data analytics for insights. As I focus on enhancing data analytic capabilities geared towards performance analytics as well as quality and patient safety, I have encountered growing demand for predictive and advanced analytics to enable strategic implementation of innovation in care delivery. It is crucial to build high-performing teams with complementary skills, in combination with reliable technologies to drive efficiencies. Teams need to have a common understanding, believe in the same principles and embrace organizational culture. I spend time thinking about efficiencies in workflows, how to use existing resources and what to look for when hiring new team members. Hiring people for roles focused on advanced analytics remains highly competitive. It is not only about hiring skilled and experienced people, but it is also about establishing a cultural norm with new and talented people who will need to accept and maintain the high-performance culture. It is not easy to find and hire people with these shared values inherent to organizational culture. Although we set this expectation at the outset during the hiring process, it is incumbent upon us to reinforce these values through training and education. 

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