Category Archives for Leadership

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Increasing Efficiency in 2018

It’s the beginning of a new year, and in 2018 the healthcare industry would greatly benefit from better utilization of resources. U.S. health care spending grew 4.3 percent in 2016, reaching $3.3 trillion, while an estimated $1 trillion is wasted each year on inefficiencies, redundancies and abuse. With an aging population, and chronic illnesses and obesity on the rise, emergency department staff will continue to be flooded with patients, while hospitals work to comply with new CMS mandates and rulings, and improve quality of patient care.

Hospitals are constantly working to increase productivity and reduce expenditures, while statistics continue to remind us that time is money. In 2017, EY conducted an advisory study  of the healthcare industry, and after analyzing the data, suggested a holistic approach to reducing inefficiencies and improving quality of care. Of the five points presented, we’ll focus on the three areas where our ActionCue CI platform can make a significant impact for healthcare organizations in 2018: transforming the culture, advancing with analytic insights, and increasing productivity

Transforming the Culture

In 2017, we presented a four-part series on innovation and the role of leadership in creating action that improves patient safety and quality. A recurring theme in the series, and a concept we work to continuously promote, is creating a “culture of quality.” Improving culture is the first step towards improving patient safety and reducing inefficiency, and it must begin at the top. Organizational leadership must be deeply involved and aware of the challenges clinical staff face daily. Executive engagement is crucial to improving overall culture, but it’s no secret that executives face substantial time constraints. According to Becker’s Hospital Review, the average CEO spends about 2.5 hours per day in meetings, and 21.2% of a CEO’s solitary workday is devoted to reading and analyzing reports.

ActionCue CI allows staff to create comprehensive, easy-to-read reports in minutes, not days, providing real-time access to insights and performance measures while reducing time spent in meetings or analyzing confusing data sets. This creates more time for leadership to engage with clinical staff and take a more involved approach to culture. Because 51% of EY respondents believe employee satisfaction in healthcare drives patient satisfaction, not only will this boost morale, it will positively impact patient care.

Advancing with Analytic Insights

Access to reliable, accurate and insightful data is imperative as hospitals work to improve performance and quality. There’s more focus on patient outcomes than ever before, and as CMS continues to impose regulations and mandates, the spotlight is on hospitals to perform or risk losing funding. Executives need immediate access to meaningful metrics on safety events, corrective actions, performance indicators, quality management, risk management and more.

With event reporting, quality management and performance improvement tracking in one easy-to-use online platform, ActionCue CI is your Fast Path to Insight™. Its robust, real-time reporting features give executives the data they need to be proactive, rather than reactive, and drive better clinical outcomes.

Increasing Productivity

Organizations’ leaders have historically accepted that quality and safety efforts require a large amount of time and effort, and lengthy processes. However, we believe applications should focus on collaboration and workflows that not only match the natural tasks and processes of users, but also shape the users’ behavior by encouraging methodologies that produce targeted results, and increase efficiency and accountability.

ActionCue’s design goes beyond ease-of-use to advance the way in which healthcare organizations engage with information in an application. The platform proves to be an enjoyable working team member, increasing productivity and facilitating education and improvement towards goals. Executives hoping to cut costs in 2018 should place significant focus on improving productivity and efficiency. With low operation costs, no hardware or installation requirements, and month-to-month subscriptions, the impact of ActionCue CI on cost reductions is two-fold.

 

As the healthcare industry continues to place more emphasis on quality and performance improvement, and improved clinical outcomes, 2018 promises to be a year during which increased efficiency and better utilization of resources is a major focus, and rightly so. If you’d like to learn more about how ActionCue CI can help you reach your quality and performance improvement goals more efficiently, contact us today and start 2018 off on the right foot.

Physician Leadership in a VUCA World

By Keith Thurgood, PhD – Prista Board of Directors

We live in a VUCA world. Developed as an operational construct by the United States Army in the late 1990s, VUCA describes the world in four adjectives:  volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous.

Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010, VUCA, as it relates to healthcare, has taken on new meaning with deeply imbedded dilemmas.  Moreover these dilemmas are magnified by the fact that while doctors have been well-trained trained to practice the art and science of medicine, they have had little preparation for managing and leading change.

Healthcare enterprises are increasingly focused on transforming all aspects of care delivery, including cost structure, clinical quality, data transparency, patient experience and the overall efficiency and effectiveness of care delivered. There is no argument that these need to be addressed, but there is a question about who will lead these efforts. The answer has to be physician leaders.

Medicine has traditionally been organized as a craft-based industry where individual physicians, organized around their practice specialization, create a customized plan for each patient. What it’s being transformed into is a team-based practice, organized around patient or disease state, where groups of peers, treating similar patients in a shared setting, execute coordinated care delivery processes using agreed upon clinical guidelines and protocols. To drive and sustain this change, we need physician leaders who understand how to lead change and create alignment, and who don’t confuse being a leader with simply being given a leadership title. We need engaged, adaptive and collaborative leaders at every level of the organization. In short, we need to turn doctors into leaders.

To accomplish this, we need a radically new approach to leadership development. For guidance, we can look to one of the world’s premiere leadership development organizations, the U.S. military. No other institution devotes more time, energy and money to developing the character and competence of its future leaders. The military focuses on character and competence because how leaders get results matters.

The Army conveys this developmental message with the phrase, “Be, Know, Do.”

  • Character, underpinned by values, describes what leaders should “BE.” Your value system drives behaviors, and you demonstrate your character by the way you behave.
  • The skills a leader needs are the basis of what a leader must “KNOW.” These include interpersonal skills, conceptual skills, and technical and tactical skills.
  • Finally, leaders must have a bias for action to deliver results—the “DO.” This includes influencing, making decisions, accomplishing the mission and continuous self-improvement.

This framework encourages developing leaders by leveraging a variety of educational experiences, planning, and staff and positional roles, that challenge one’s character and competencies. The Army’s development of a seasoned combat leader is a 15-year journey supported by a progressive set of experiences that stretch the thinking, innovation and application of key ideas and concepts. The most effective leaders are developed over a long period of time.

Where do we start in healthcare? Rather than reading the latest book or signing up for another class or workshop, aspiring physician leaders should start their leadership development journey at the beginning: by first looking at one’s self. It’s difficult to do because it requires looking in the mirror, not out the window. Start by clearly identifying the type of future leader you want to be, and then develop a plan to bring that to life.

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