The questions 5 healthcare executives ask when developing a growth strategy

Six months into 2021, hospital and health system executives must continue to develop successful growth strategies as they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and industry changes. This means looking at digital transformation, as well as how they will address community needs and attract and retain staff.

Considering a recent Fortune/Deloitte summer 2021 poll showing nearly 80 percent of healthcare CEOs expect very strong or strong growth over the next year, Becker's asked health system executives to share the questions they ask themselves when developing a growth strategy.

Respondents shared their insights with Becker's in July. Responses are presented alphabetically. 

Alan Kaplan, MD. CEO of University of Wisconsin Health (Madison): Ultimately, the top question for a successful growth strategy is twofold, 'What is/are the goal(s) of our growth strategy and what are the market opportunities to achieve it?' The rationale for growth tends to boil down to three general goals: financial sustainability, market relevance and pursuit of excellence. Strategies can include organic growth (e.g. program development, market entrance) or inorganic (e.g. mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, etc.) For me, the goals are driven by our vision, and the strategies are driven by market opportunity. 

Jason Little. President and CEO of Baptist Memorial Health Care (Memphis, Tenn.): Does it enhance our mission and how will we attract the talent to staff it?

Richard Lofgren, MD. President and CEO of UC Health – Cincinnati: When planning for the future, the first question we ask is, "How will this improve patient access and outcomes?" That is quickly followed by "How will this respond to a need in our community?" Healthcare is a very human endeavor. We need to leverage the digital transformation to improve the patient experience and connection to their needed services. At the same time, we need to optimize the use of technology to reduce the burden on our workforce to allow them to concentrate their energy in the care of the patient. 

Kathleen Silard. President and CEO of Stamford (Conn.) Health: How can we continue to advance our mission of being the most trusted health partner for the communities we serve? Trust is measured in myriad ways, including providing the highest quality care for our patients. This continues to be our North Star and shapes many of our core strategies that allow us to continue to provide the exceptional quality of care we’ve become recognized for, and further strengthening our position as a healthcare leader in our region. Our team is constantly evaluating the needs of our community not only for today, also how those needs will shift over the coming years and asking the question, "What should we be doing today, through innovation, partnerships and program development, to ensure we continue to deliver high quality, accessible, personalized care for the communities we serve?"

Dennis Verzi. System Executive Vice President and COO of Catholic Health (Rockville Centre, N.Y.): At Catholic Health, we look at the community need, demographics and competitive landscape, along with the service availability and incidence and prevalence of the targeted disease or illness in the specific geographic area of interest.

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