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How leading from behind can transform healthcare

February 26th, 2015

by Thomas Dahlborg

"My preference is to lead from behind."

"You do what?"

I recently had the opportunity to meet with an amazing group of healthcare leaders, each representing a different sector and all coming together to improve the healthcare system locally, regionally and beyond. It was a mosaic of ideas, philosophies and approaches, each intertwined with opportunity, challenge, hope, ideal and complexity.

We discussed the importance of patient and family partnerships in ensuring care plans are aligned with patient preferences and thus lead to improved patient safety, compliance, engagement (of both clinician and patient) and improved health and healthcare outcomes. Further, we focused on the need to engage patients not only at time of care (which again is critical) but also much further upstream to ensure we design care systems which best position patients, families and clinicians to develop relationship and trust, tell and hear whole stories, gain a 360-degree picture of flames to be fanned as well as those barriers to health to be eliminated, and together create care pathways honoring the patient and leveraging this relationship.

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Nursing-pharmacy collaboration: How to find the sweet spot

February 26th, 2015

by Celia Renteria and Bob Goodwillie

Healthcare leaders understand that improving interdisciplinary teamwork is critical to success within the new performance-driven care delivery landscape. Because medication management processes are central to patient safety and outcomes, collaboration between nursing and pharmacy in particular is becoming a focal point of process improvement--often requiring organizations to take a hard look at existing culture in order to make the appropriate changes.

Establishing a chemistry of trust and open communication between nursing and pharmacy departments can be challenging, but when a healthcare organization finds that "sweet spot" where a collaborative approach to problem-solving comes naturally, everybody wins--especially the patient. At Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC), we've been able to maintain a successful nursing-pharmacy partnership for decades because it is built around the patient's needs as opposed to those of an individual department.

Effective collaboration between pharmacy and nursing has enabled us to identify and design medication management processes that create the most efficient workflows for both departments while keeping patient safety at the forefront. The result has been more nursing time at the patient bedside and cost reductions through greater efficiencies. Additionally, we've been able to allow our pharmacy staff to work at the "top of their license," maximizing their capabilities and expertise for higher quality care.

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6 must-know inbound marketing facts for healthcare leaders

February 26th, 2015

by Andrea J. Simon

A friend of mine had a really awful knee story. She had injured it skiing and her primary care doctor had sent her to a surgeon. The surgery failed to address the problem, and she was still in terrible pain.

So, my friend went online. She researched which doctors were considered specialists in the type of knee surgery she knew she needed. Then she researched his training, infection rates, patient satisfaction and testimonials, and then she made an appointment. When the surgeon asked how she had found him, she was quite blunt: on the Internet. He was stunned!

When I shared this story with a senior hospital executive, he was perplexed. Completely missing the significance, his attitude was, "So what?" Here was the future of consumers' approach to healthcare right in front of him and he was ignoring it.

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Hospital leaders must overcome resistance and disrupt their own organizations

February 19th, 2015

by Lynn McVey

The traditional theory of disruption calls for outsiders to shake up an industry. A recent survey of 150 healthcare executives revealed "more than 50 percent felt healthcare is ready for disruption," according to Harvard Business Review.

However, nearly two-thirds of respondents said resistance was the biggest hurdle to innovation, according to the report. Inefficient or outdated analytics and processes were also cited. "The overwhelming sentiment was that the impediments to change are mostly internal," Paul Merrild wrote in HBR. "Overcoming such challenges requires intrepid leadership."

Respondents to the survey said they scan widely for models of executives who have successfully disrupted their own organizations. "When we asked which companies' healthcare executives most admire, the top choice wasn't Mayo, Cleveland Clinic or any other blue chip healthcare institution," wrote Merrild. "Top choice was Apple: the tech giant who cannibalizes its own products and promotes disruption before being overtaken by it."

We say "hindsight is 20/20." If we had the chance to do it over again, wouldn't we have chosen an electronic medical record for all facilities? We could have been years ahead of where we are now in terms of Meaningful Use, standardizing and sharing information. Yes, this country is proud of its free market but I question whether healthcare should remain a part of that market, especially given what we now know about the fraud, abuse, unnecessary testing and corruption in the industry.

=> Read more!

New ways to think about hospital-physician engagement

February 19th, 2015

by Kenneth H. Cohn

A recent FierceHealthcare story cited five ways to boost hospital-physician engagement:

  • Keeping physicians in the loop on the hospital's financial and operational goals
  • Engaging the community
  • Increasing physicians' protected nonclinical time to improve engagement
  • Familiarizing physicians with the company's goals
  • Concentrating work at one facility

Building on the first goal, I wrote an article recently that described a collaboration between a hospital CFO and a physician that taught the physician how to write a business plan for a new wound care center, which enabled patients to stay within the community and brought in a new source of revenue to the hospital. The physician became so interested in finance that he effectively functions as the chief medical finance officer, conducing strategic consultations on finance with both administrators and fellow physicians.

=> Read more!

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