The Empowered Physician Leader

by Rand O’Leary

oday’s healthcare environment is shifting at an ever-increasing pace. The transition to community health focused care is both daunting and challenging for most organizations.  Now, more than ever physician leadership can play a crucial and important role. 

Setup Your Physician Leaders for Success 

Before we begin, it’s foundational to understand how physicians view leadership.  Physicians are trained to work independently, they value their autonomy and can be reluctant to delegate authority.  All good qualities if you’re the patient.  My colleague once said me, “these trauma surgeons are sure difficult to work with.”  My response, “Of course they are. They are trained to take charge, assess situations quickly and be right, every single time.  And If I’m critically injured, that’s who I want taking care of me.” But yes, when we ask them to take on the mantle of administrative leaders, they need our help. 

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Want to build your culture -- start by sweeping the floor!

Over the years, I’ve heard many stories inspirational stories on leadership, one of my favorites involves President John F. Kennedy and his first visit to NASA in 1962.  As the story goes, the President was touring the facility when he came across a janitor carrying a broom down the same hallway as the touring President.  Kennedy, a great lover of people stopped the and asked him what he did for NASA, not missing a beat he replied, “I’m helping to put a man on the moon.”

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Take your team to first place -- by putting yourself last

by Rand O’Leary

Many high performing companies have discovered the value of servant leadership, which simply defined is serving others first.  When leaders make this simple, but fundamental mind shift, the culture and the organization will follow as will bottom line results.  Employees working under leaders who put their needs first, build self-confidence, make decisions more autonomously, have greater job satisfaction and engagement, and are more likely to practice this same style with their direct reports.

How does servant leadership build organizational and team performance?

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Is it 'Mission Impossible' for healthcare? Why mission-driven leadership is still the answer.

By Rand O’Leary

Healthcare has been in a tremendous period of change, mergers, acquisitions, leadership restructures, and new and improved strategic plans and priorities fill the time of most leaders.  During this time of change, many leaders may wonder privately, does the mission of this organization still matter? Or is it only about the bottom line?   

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Are you holding your team back? Why task-oriented leaders should build their relationship skills to accomplish goals

Task oriented leaders, those using just workplans, measurements, goals, dashboards, etc.…  sometimes may be left scratching their heads when their teams do not accomplish their goals, or performance begins to decline without any clear reason as to why.

To motivate your teams, and accomplish your goals, perhaps you would be better served to examine your leadership relationship competencies. 

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Impacting Change Through Challenge

By Roger Barnhart

While talking with volunteers at the information desk, in walks the sweetest elderly couple. Both were in their mid to late 80s. The wife is using a cane with one hand and holding onto her husband for support with the other. 

An early August day, outside temperatures were in the upper 90s. It was my first week working within a $40M health system as interim CEO and consultant. The facility offered a vast array of both general and specialized services. Without counting the licensed beds, one would never know it was not an urban health system, but rather a Critical Access Hospital.

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What learning to fly taught me about handling adversity

By Rand O’Leary

When everything seems to be going against you, remember the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it, Henry Ford. 

Ask any pilot if they remember the first time they flew the airplane alone. And you’ll get a resounding yes!  The solo flight is a milestone in each pilot’s life, it’s the time when preparation and opportunity all come together.  You are alone in the airplane, no instructor by your side correcting mistakes, keeping you safe, it’s all up to you.

Although my solo was over 20 years ago, I remember it as though it were yesterday.  The weather, the sounds of the engine and the wheels rolling down the runway.  But what I remember the most about that day is looking over to my right and seeing that empty seat next to me, knowing I was completely responsible for returning this aircraft safely to the ground, intact.

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Sustainable Population Health -- Catcher or Pitcher?

Sustainable Population Health:
Part B – Catcher or Pitcher? 

Part B of this article addresses how growth plans of healthcare systems distinguish population health management from community and public health. 

Part A of this article clarified the terminology and implications of Community, Public and Population Health. So what does all this this mean for healthcare system leaders’ growth plans?

Healthcare providers have historically played catcher, “receiving” patients who sought care. Access meant being available when and where patients sought them. The transition from volume-based care to population health management requires a role change of providers from catcher/receiver to pitcher/initiator.

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Sustainable Population Health -- Who's on First?

By Rob Thames

Post-truth, Fake news, Misinformation (Dictionary.com words of the year for 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively). Let’s be clear: How is population health different from community and public health? How does it relate to health disparities? A senior leader discussion on these topics can begin to sound like a rendition of Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First?

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Rural Health's Specialty Lies in the Special Care

By Roger Barnhart

It was my first time back to a rural hospital. Though I had practically grown-up in rural health – both with frequent visits as a volunteer and as a support services employee – I had not been within the walls of a rural hospital in many years. And never had I been in one as a healthcare executive.

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Resilience - Question and Answer

Re-posted with permission from HealthTechS3. Original article here.

As a sequel to our last blog on Resilience: The 5 Keys to Becoming a Resilient Leader written by our CEO, Derek Morkel of HealthTechS3, we provide a 2-part Q&A series of informative insights from two of our exceptional interim executive leaders, on the true grit, perseverance and resilience they’ve had to demonstrate through their professional working careers as leaders.

Rodney Reider has a rich history of 25 years’ healthcare industry experience, having worked across various boards and with physicians, employees, and the community to strengthen core services to customers. As a strategic, enthusiastic, and accomplished leader he has mastered the ability to identify and draw upon team members’ strengths in order to optimize performance and face any challenges to reach a common goal.

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Focus on Culture for Patient and Family Care: Beyond the Medicine

by Roger Barnhart

As healthcare (including acute care, nursing homes, home health and all downstream providers) moves towards a greater focus on patient/family satisfaction, the model of healthcare must also evolve, for both the government and patients/families will be closely reviewing these in determining healthcare provider(s) of choice. A satisfied patient is a more compliant patient, making for a more engaged patient.

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Changing Landscape and Designation Within Rural Healthcare

by Roger Barnhart

The landscape within rural communities was very different in 1977 than it was 20 years later when Congress created the Critical Access Hospital (CAH) designation through the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. The intent was to reduce the financial vulnerability of rural hospitals and improve access to healthcare by keeping essential services in rural communities. In the 20+ years since, healthcare and the settings in which it is provided (and subsequent regulations) has continued to evolve.

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Patient Care Experience Beyond the Medicine

by Roger Barnhart

INTEGRATING SUPPORT SERVICES AND FAMILIES FOR PSYCHOSOCIAL CARE

He is that family member we all know, regrettably often looked upon as bothersome, annoying or cantankerous. Throughout my career in home health, skilled nursing and acute care, these family members are at every level – anywhere that involves caring for vulnerable patients.

One doesn’t even have to be in patient care – simply working in healthcare means each of us will likely deal with these troublesome family members at one time or another.

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When is achieving all your goals not good enough?

By Rand O’Leary

So, we’ve closed the books on another year, and it’s time to review your performance.  Maybe you’ve completed all your goals -- congratulations you’ve failed.  Failed? How could that be, I’ve completed all my goals? And therein lies the problem, you didn’t set your goals (or the bar) high enough for your own performance.  Goals by definition are aspirations and should be set high enough to stretch the organization and yourself in new directions.  If you are constantly beating your goals, you’re not stretching enough. 

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Mitigating Decision-making Errors Along a Transformation Journey

n Part A of this two-part article on decision-making errors, the main categories and types of decision and judgement errors were reviewed along with some associated logic fallacies.

 So What?

Two practical questions emerge. First, what can we do to improve our judgement? A combination of antidotes is often recommended to mitigate the untoward effects of these decision traps: being humble and aware, knowing yourself and knowing others, and following a process are the top three. The first, being aware, is like telling a pitcher to “throw strikes” (well-intended, but not of great practical help – this is what the pitcher is trying to do but it does not help him/her do it!). The second, to know oneself, is harder than diamonds and steel, according to Benjamin Franklin. The third, following a process, offers the most tangible promise for something we can actually do that can consistently make a difference. 

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Decision Making Traps: Decider Beware

Leadership Transformation Series 

Decision Making Traps: Decider Beware

This is Part 4A in this Four-part Leadership Transformation Series (LTS); 4B will follow.

Transformation in healthcare is personal: it requires the transformation of health system leaders. The LTS begins to speak to key differences in some of the fundamentals of transformational vs traditional leadership in healthcare.

 This article focuses on how we make decisions: 4A Reviews decision-making errors.

4B Addresses how to mitigate decision-making errors

 

4A Healthcare Transformation and Decision-making Errors

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New Year’s Resolution: Become A Better Leader!

In all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, its easy to forget that in just a few weeks most of us will be looking at the New Year and a list of resolutions or promises that we have made to ourselves that we hope to accomplish.  Some of our old favorites are bound to make the list, lose some weight, exercise, give more to charity, get back in touch with family or old friends. 

But what about including in this year’s list the commitment to be a better leader next year?

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The Operating Model: Closing the Strategy-Execution Gap

By Rob Thames

Leadership Transformation Series 

The Operating Model: Closing the Strategy-Execution Gap 

This is Part 3 of a Four-Part Leadership Transformation Series (LTS).

Read Part 1 and Part 2.

Transformation in healthcare is personal: it requires the transformation of health system leaders. This LTS begins to speak to key differences in some of the fundamentals of transformational vs traditional leadership in healthcare.

This article focuses on how leaders operate. 

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Systemizing Healthcare: The Integrator Role

by Rob Thames

This is Part 2 of a Four-part Leadership Transformation Series (LTS). Read Part 1 Here.

Transformation in healthcare is personal: it requires the transformation of health system leaders. This LTS begins to speak to key differences in some of the fundamentals of transformational vs traditional leadership in healthcare.

 This article focuses on the changing role delineation of leaders.
 

The leadership need for ‘the Integrator’ is re-shaping traditional CEO and COO roles.

A few decades ago, the role of ‘the Integrator’ in healthcare leadership did not exist – at least not in the form needed today. Unlike roles with new names – CTO, CMIO, CPHMO, etc. - the same titles of CEO or COO may be used for a healthcare system, yet the shapes of these roles bear little resemblance to those with the same titles used in a hospital or other ‘vertical.’

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