Championing teams, empowering physicians: 4 healthcare execs' advice

Hospital and health system leaders face a number of challenges in today's healthcare environment, providing opportunities for learning and gaining insights. With that in mind, Becker's has asked leaders to share advice for their peers. 

Here are responses collected this year, presented alphabetically:

Joseph Cacchione, MD. CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health (Philadelphia): I think if we're waiting for what used to be hospital volumes that come back, like orthopedics and simple spine, they are not coming back into the hospitals. They're just not going to come back. They're going to be for the most part outpatient procedures. You must plan for a day without those things. That's No. 1.

Also, the fee-for-service environment continues to be challenging. And fee-for-service continues to be pushed from the inpatient to the outpatient, and the reimbursement is much lower. So, finding ways to make up that revenue is very difficult in a fee-for-service world. You have to think about diverse revenue streams moving forward. 

Additionally, I would also say empowering the physicians is really important. The plans can't come from the CEO's office. The plan to optimize cardiovascular must come from our cardiovascular leadership, which needs to have strong physician input. But the physicians, the front-line physicians of a physician leadership team, need to own these plans, and they need to help develop them and be seen as owners. And we feel like they're owners. I want the administrative leadership of the service lines working with physicians, empowering them to help make these decisions and to help us grow our business in a way that is physician led.

Amanda Chawla. Chief Supply Chain Officer of Stanford Health Care (Palo Alto, Calif.): Be that support, that resource to your colleagues and customers around the organization. Be the loudest voice in championing your team's work and focus on elevating the supply chain. As leaders, we are responsible for advocating, managing change and communications, and bringing together our team(s) to align internally and build relationships with those we serve.

Lisa Scannell. Vice President of Supply Chain Management at Mass General Brigham (Somerville, Mass.): I believe great organizations and leaders invest in their teams, surround themselves with people with diverse ideas and talents, and always strive to do the right thing for their organization. Without a strong, collaborative, innovative team, a leader cannot be successful.

Airica Steed, EdD, RN. President and CEO of MetroHealth (Cleveland): As healthcare executives and healthcare leaders, I think we need to work more closely and collaboratively to address and tackle these industry challenges. I don't think that these are individualized efforts. I think the pandemic has certainly showcased and put this on the forefront in a pretty profound way. The only way we're going to be able to navigate through is close-knit collaboration, communication, engagement and working together. Also, be encouraged, because I do believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We are certainly navigating through some of the most significant circumstances, and the headwinds are strong. But I do believe that we're going to see the light at the end of the day. We need to continue to buckle down, be resilient people leaders and encourage our people along the way.

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