Top Management Mistakes in Health Systems
Over the past 10 to 15 years, healthcare management teams have been repeating the same costly mistakes, often leading to failure and unsustainability of organizations. A recent article by Scott Becker and Emily Rappleye discusses the main mistakes they believe are causing health systems to falter. The following errors are ones you want to make sure your organization is avoiding:
FAILING TO BUILD THE NEXT GENERATION OF MANAGEMENT.
In most healthcare organizations, a core team makes up the foundation of leadership. When organizations don’t prepare future generations to step up into leadership roles, they can face problems revitalizing and taking on new challenges. In 2013, 76% of CEOs received promotions from within, and according to Forbes, these internal promotions tend to perform better (and stay longer) than those hired from outside the organization.
CEOs also need to be able to work in both the present and the future. If a CEO is not able to do offer both short term and long term visions, their organization may seek out strategic partners as a replacement. Stephen Clasko, MD, MBA, President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health System advises, “You should always have five people under you who think they can do a better job than you, and three of them that are right.”
CHANGING COLLECTIONS AND HEALTH IT SYSTEMS WITHOUT ADEQUATE FORETHOUGHT.
Michael Blackman, MD, CMO of McKesson Enterprise Information Solutions shares that hospitals replace their health IT systems about every 17 years, yet many invest in one-off “quick fix” technology solutions as casually as buying a new phone. Hospitals need to think of IT more like buying a house–each upgrade should be necessary, budgeted, and contribute to the overall return on investment of the program. They must also anticipate changes and growth over the next couple of decades before deciding on which system is best for their organization today.
PREVENTING GREAT LEADERS FROM THRIVING INTERNALLY.
A Society for Human Resource Management survey reports, “opportunities to use skills and abilities” was ranked as the most crucial factor in job satisfaction by employees. Most systems try their best to keep CEOs happy, only to see them leave for another opportunity if their professional strengths are underutilized or de-prioritized. Working closely with executives to understand and nurture their goals will help to ensure they always feel challenged and encouraged.
FAILING TO DEVELOP A BRAND.
National Research Corp reported one-third of healthcare consumers said they would consider using their most familiar national brand for treatment or surgery. Developing a brand or specialty is essential to the success of any health system. The article gives the following example:
“In a high-paying urban setting, we have seen certain systems fail to develop any specialty or strength to establish the system as a top hospital choice. In contrast, systems that were once rated as fine, or as better than mediocre, become incredibly serious systems by developing a great managed care or physician affiliation system.”
Have you seen your organization make any these mistakes in the past? Work together with top management to develop a plan to avoid these preventable slipups.
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