Rush's CEO bases leadership on 'data and not anecdotes'

Leaders who can tell a good story can only go so far in today's data-driven world.

That's why Omar Lateef, president and CEO of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, is focused on building up his data capabilities and IT infrastructure for operational efficiency, clinical excellence, a seamless patient experience and leadership insights.

He said during a recent interview for the "Becker's Healthcare Podcast," that a big aspect of his role is projecting how healthcare will evolve and transforming Rush into an agile organization. All departments are becoming more efficient and effective with the right data and technology. Now, it's time for leadership to become more data-driven as well.

"Leadership has to be based on actual data and not anecdotes," said Dr. Lateef. "When we talk about healthcare and the complexities of healthcare, you can't do it without actually really knowing what the numbers are."

Dr. Lateef said healthcare leaders will need data and transparency to effectively run their organizations. Transparency around the big challenges facing healthcare right now will gain trust and transform care delivery.

"Not everything is going to be perfect. If we spend time on that and we get people on the team to start developing solutions, you can really start to evolve towards a better ratio of change," said Dr. Lateef. "The second thing I would say is, I started out with this idea of using data. A lot of times we're making decisions without knowing all the background details and if you take large swaths of data to tell an accurate story and then you make an intervention, we should be able to track that intervention and to see if it's making a difference."

Simply put, data-enabled leaders identify the problem, create a solution and measure success against it to build an effective organization.

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