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Learn the language of leaders to improve hospital management

February 4th, 2016

by Michelle Rathman

There’s no question that the best healthcare leaders are great communicators. By definition, they have mastered the important functions of management such as establishing a vision, goal setting, motivating, planning and organizing. These skills have one common denominator: effective communication.

Whether you’re in a rural hospital, clinic or critical access hospital, as a leader you must know how to communicate your values clearly and solidly. What you say reinforces the values, goals and mission of your hospital or system and helps you build teams that respect you and follow your example. For your healthcare organization to reach new, better levels of communication, you must learn the basics of effective communications and consistently model these in all situations and interactions.

As I’ve seen in working with rural hospitals throughout the Midwest, meetings are a prime example of where leaders often fall short as strong communicators. Too few leaders end meetings with the all-important “closer”--a shared agreement and understanding about what needs to be communicated out and how. To be effective, you should adjourn meetings by identifying the top three group takeaways, salient talking points, timing of communicating with other staff and the medium to be used for sharing.

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The shifting role of the healthcare CFO: From sites to systems

February 4th, 2016

by Tom Quinn

It is hard to imagine any administrative role in healthcare changing more over the past few years than that of the chief financial officer. Industry consolidation, to a great degree, is driving a change toward centralized operations.

Forward-looking CFOs at all levels--site, divisional and system--are tracking the impact of ongoing and anticipated consolidation upon their professional lives. Just as importantly, they are taking steps to thrive in this dynamic new world.

Several healthcare CFOs recently shared their front-line views with me. This article explores how the CFO role differs today from the past; in Part II to come, I will look at how CFOs can flourish in their careers amid such dynamic changes.

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Request for 'booth girl' perpetuates view of HIT as a man's world

February 4th, 2016

by Katie Dvorak

The face of health IT is changing. What used to be an industry where men held most of the executive positions, women are breaking through that glass ceiling and taking seats at the leadership table.

Come March, tens of thousands of women will be in Las Vegas to attend HIMSS 2016.

However, despite the progress women have made in the industry, there's still an undercurrent of sexism.

A vendor attending the conference recently posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a "booth girl."

The ad asks for a "booth girl" for three days of the conference, notes that she must be dressed business casual and asks for a picture to be attached to the application.

>>Read the full commentary at FierceHealthIT

For one hospital’s integration effort, the third time is the charm

January 28th, 2016

by Scott Kashman

Sometimes your best successes will come from learning from the times you do not succeed.

Several years back, I was fortunate to lead a team toward a fully subscribed joint venture. It was a very well-received and successful joint venture including a surgery center, pain management center and endoscopy center.

When asked how we were able to pull together such a strong venture, I replied, "it was easy after we failed the first two times."

The first time we tried, there were not too many joint ventures, yet our health system knew it was a better long-term care model to collaborate with our local physicians. When we approached the physicians, they were reluctant and decided not to participate because there was little known about joint ventures. Even after sharing what was starting to take place around the nation, they declined. We agreed to consider reviewing the possibility in the future.

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Good health is a societal issue, not a medical one

January 28th, 2016

by Anthony Cirillo

You may have noticed that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has introduced some new accountable care organization models that take into account social health-related needs such as food insecurity or unstable housing, and it wants to see whether addressing these needs can help improve health outcomes and reduce costs. It’s as they say, a good start.

The reason I say it’s a good start is because the CMS model will not pay directly or indirectly for any community services received by patients. Providers must use their award monies to connect people with those offering such community services. So it is really more about awareness and navigation than about providing the services. In some respects, it is another carrot and stick, check-it-off-the-list item. And there have been more and more of these cropping up. Annual wellness visit, end-of-life talk--check and check.

The real consequences happen when a person leaves the physician office or hospital. Unless someone is actually advocating for patients--in some respects holding their hands to make sure they not only connect with but also receive services--health outcomes will not improve. And let’s face it; if your organization does not already know the community services available and have relationships with those organizations, well, you shouldn’t be in business. And if there are service gaps, you should be developing programs to fill those, too. So maybe all CMS is doing is encouraging a little more effort in addressing this in the office or at discharge. Heck, if you’re going to pay us to do it, sure why not?

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