The Persona: Hospital Executive – Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Position: CEO – High Profile Hospital, Not-For-Profit

Location: United States of America

My Background & Role

I am 50 years of age, a former cardiologist but I also have an MBA from NYU. I have been in hospital administration for 15 years. Four years ago became the CEO of Good Samaritan Healthcare system. The Healthcare system is primarily in semi-rural locations.

Good Samaritan is a small hospital system in Arizona, with three hospitals and five day clinics. The average number of beds in the three hospitals is 200 – each with small emergency rooms and a small number of operating suites. Good Samaritan is a for profit hospital system, but is family owned with a few small investors, who have a much greater interest in having a strong brand and community involvement. There is a Board of Directors for the Group to whom I report. I have a management team of six.

What Is My Focus – What Is Value To Me And How Am I Evaluated?

Public perception is what drives me. The public needs to feel that healthcare is universally available in good quality and not limited by workforce shortages, long waiting times etc. Safety of care and prevention are of high profile, national errors or scandals are more important than local issues or individual errors. We need to make sure that the efforts the Government makes for quality healthcare and their effects are visible and defensible.

I need to ensure that we have enough providers to meet the demand of an aging society and to increase efficiency and effectiveness of education of practitioners to keep costs under control whilst ensuring patient safety is not compromised.

We need to make sure that workforce providers are certified and maintain competencies effectively and efficiently and I need to work with regulators to ensure this happens. We need to work together to manage new challenges such as an ageing population and spiraling costs.

The Decision Maker: Hospital Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

The Chief Executive Officer is the highest-ranking executive within the organization and will lead (Insert Hospital Name) firmly and successfully forward as the leading health care delivery system serving the evolving needs of the citizens of the region.

The CEO takes a long-term view of wide-ranging possibilities in developing a vision for the future. Assesses situations and makes decisions that take into consideration global trends and implications and how they impact (Insert Hospital Name). Has in-depth knowledge of economics, industry, technology trends and other factors that affect financial performance. Is able to contribute relevant technical expertise and skills on the job due to specialized training, education, and/or experience.

Actively drives a culture where every action is completed with a focus on delivering exceptional customer service and care to patients, families, employees, partners of (Insert Hospital Name), and the surrounding community. Communicates the vision of exceptional service and care to both the organization and members of the community.

Uses fact-based analysis to develop and identify recommendations to enhance patient care. Maintains a constant focus on improving personal and departmental performance aligned with organizational strategy. Identifies and develops unique ways of approaching problems or tasks. Is able to think beyond familiar or common approaches to situations. Uses a creative process to develop original, yet realistic ideas that meet organizational goals and objectives. Seeks learning opportunities and new ways of thinking to challenge the status quo. The CEO addresses inefficiencies and waste and takes the necessary steps to implement changes.

Typical value domains of those who function in the role of CEO are:

  • Financial
  • Compliance
  • Risk Management
  • Quality of Care

The CEO has been very specific that I am measured by the following (and this is what I therefore value highly):

  • Financial – It goes without saying that we are in the business of healthcare – that is our mission.
    • Cost management – which can be a big issue for the organization, when it has such small margins; and
    • Efficiency – we are always looking for ways to improve the efficiency of the operation – for example, with better workflows or technology. We have KPIs that are related to efficiency.
  • Compliance – ensuring that we can continue to meet our obligations to the regulatory authorities.
    • Institutional Compliance – We need to make sure that we meet all of the Joint Commission requirements for the facilities; and
    • Individual Compliance – We need to ensure that the employees are qualified to do their job.
  • Risk Management – this is related to rates of litigation, and the claims that get paid every year. It is a simple economic measure – reduced risks = reducing claims and costs. We need to ensure we:
    • Monitor errors – to understand the problems;
    • Identify root causes – to identify the fixes that should be made;
    • Implement interventions – to reduce errors and reduce cost.

We start with those errors that have the highest cost rate.

  • Quality of Care – this is quality as it is seen by the patient. Every patient that stays overnight at the institution needs to complete a quality of care survey. This affects our marketability, and we need to ensure that quality is high so that we stay marketable.

Strategic Approach/Messaging

  • Use your knowledge of the CEO and the institution to customize your message and select the metrics that indicate how the resources needed for the project will be offset by its benefits/outcomes.
  • Review the case-based scenarios on the website [insert link] to identify one or more that is similar to yours. Customize and use it as a successful example.
  • Use the tool [insert link] to select the value domains that you believe are a match for those of the CEO and rank order them. The tool will generate a list of messages that match each domain with suggested measurement metrics and related articles that support the message and metrics.
  • Begin with how your proposal aligns with the institution mission and strategic goals to ensure that you couch all your plans within their language with metrics that link back to the strategic plan.
  • Focus on improved outcomes related to: teamwork, communication, and collaboration that lead to quick wins for your stakeholders.
  • Also focus on shared educational goals across professions and how simulation allows for improved teamwork and communication while also reducing duplication of effort across departments and divisions.
  • If the CEO is not familiar with the benefits of simulation, integrate relevant advantages of simulation into your proposal. Consider selecting some seminal articles from the resource list [insert link] and providing copies as supplemental material.
  • If you intend to apply for grant funds to support all or part of your proposal, include information about the grant, and include the time and resources you will need to prepare it.