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Welcome to my blog. I want this to be an ongoing conversation concerning our troubled healthcare industry, our efforts to reform, governmental hurdles that thwart change and successful innovation that does occur. Notice I did not say healthcare system because by any definition it is anything but…

My focus will be on leadership and the strategies and tactics healthcare leaders are using to improve their operations – clinically, financially and strategically.

The late Peter Drucker said that hospitals are among the most complex of all businesses to manage. I doubt too many hospital CEOs will object to that characterization. We are entering an era where the challenges and hurdles are becoming more complicated and where the pressure to improve clinical quality and patient safety is understandably more intense. Change is in the air. Among these many changes are the increasing labor shortages – those critical personnel who will deliver on our commitments: RNs, physicians, dietitians, pharmacists, techs, aides, financial managers, and information system operators. The war for talent is on. If the battle has not come to your market, count your blessings, but be prepared. If you are in a metropolitan market, or operate a community health business near a major metropolitan area, you are seeing compensation increase faster than state associations can produce out-of-date salary surveys.

We are an industry that has perfected the art of operational silos, both nationally and within our own organizations. This silo structure is one culprit in the troubling patient safety problems many hospitals face. With CMS refusing to pay for preventable errors, hospitals now must deal with the real costs of these heretofore hidden expenses.

Healthcare is changing and it is time for its leaders to adjust while they still have a say in the process. We need leaders who can improve quality and patient safety while innovating to deliver services in a more cost effective manner. That is a strategic, clinical, financial, and moral imperative. There will be no significant increases in reimbursement from the federal government or managed care.

The tough, hard, irreversible tipping point of change is occurring…

JGS