The Healthcare Hub

5 Ways Healthcare Leaders are Shifting in a Transformative Time

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Changes in healthcare – from delivery to payment – are impacting leadership and the structure of healthcare organizations. These changes are driving the need for talent previously not seen as key components for successful healthcare organizations. As a result, leaders are beginning to include members with expertise outside of traditional roles such as social media, customer experience, marketing and change management. This shift in thinking is key to an industry experiencing a major transformation and we are seeing it play out in five key ways.

1. Change is an opportunity

Healthcare organizations are embracing the need to add untraditional talent to leadership roles. However, finding candidates with experience in customer experience, enterprise risk management, data analytics and lean operations are not easily found within the healthcare field. With this understanding, it’s necessary to consider candidates from outside healthcare in order to build for future requirements.


2. Understanding that healthcare is a business

Healthcare is a unique business that can benefit from applying models more typically seen in the private sector. With the move toward value-based care, hospitals and health networks are under more pressure than ever to eliminate waste. Overall the trend is to improve efficiency with enhanced data analytics capabilities and integrated information systems. The immediate need is to learn to interpret data, establish benchmarks and understand performance measured against specific targets and is key to continuous improvement.


3. Looking to clinical roles when recruiting for a leadership team or teams to solve strategic challenges

The creation of management teams, where clinicians are paired with administrators to manage service lines or clinical areas is one approach. Leadership teams are growing and we are seeing a shift in traditional roles as physicians and nurses are moving into leadership roles, many in executive positions. Everyone is being asked/tasked with developing skills beyond their current set – to be more strategic – and to get there, training programs focused on developing leadership skills are on the rise.


4. Viewing technology as a transformative fulcrum for hospital success and improved patient experience and outcomes

This may be accomplished through growing integrated provider networks and care systems, through virtual networks, or integrating information systems. 


5. Sharing information encourages participation and synergy from shared action

Information allows action, and information shared allows shared action1. Organizations that embrace collaboration and seek to build relationships rather than silos, find that information exchange fuels success. In a recent survey of healthcare leaders2, respondents regularly marked communication and interpersonal skills as important leadership skills, with one respondent singling out the importance of collaboration with colleagues as the effective way to accomplish something – rather than to just be the loudest voice in the room. 

For more insight on healthcare in 2017, read the GHX survey results for supply chain priorities and outcomes for 2017.