The Delicate Balancing Act of the Modern Healthcare Executive

See how HealthJobs leverages my Hospital Impact post Healthcare improvement starts with putting the patient at the center to highlight the Delicate Balancing Act of the Modern Healthcare Executive.

See full post below the scale …

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A wonderful piece ending with the question:

How long it will take for the industry to figure this out and get moving in the right direction again?


Here is the full article from HealthJobs:


The Delicate Balancing Act of the Modern Healthcare Executive

The U.S. healthcare system continues to undergo monumental changes that are shaking the very foundation of what is arguably the finest system in the world. At the root of those changes is the necessary transition from fee-for-service to value-based, patient-focused healthcare. And in this environment, no one has a harder job than the healthcare executive tasked with making sure the transition is complete without damaging the business model.

Shedding light on the balancing act of the modern healthcare executive is an excellent blog post written by Thomas Dahlborg and published by the Hospital Impact website in early May (2016). Dahlborg is a proponent of patient-centered healthcare as the fundamental basis for doing business, but he also understands that healthcare executives cannot ignore the basics of good business in order to keep their facilities operating at a profit. Thus, the delicate balancing act executives must perform on a daily basis.

Under the old system, Dahlborg says that executives spent most of their time focusing on:

  • Keeping facility doors open
  • Maintaining local market share
  • Developing new service lines
  • Competition through mergers and acquisitions.

These four ‘pillars’ of healthcare executive management have driven CEOs and CFOs for decades. Those same executives will have to continue paying attention to these things in the new era of healthcare, but they must find a way to do so while also figuring out how to improve both outcomes and overall patient experiences.

As Dahlborg explains, the two are not mutually exclusive. It is entirely possible to create a system in which patients are well taken care of in a way that allows the business to flourish. Almost every other business sector in the U.S. has already proven it to be true. Dahlborg maintains that, although healthcare is broken right now, it can be fixed with a team effort and the right kinds of solutions.

No One-Size-Fits-All Solution

The balancing act today’s healthcare executives have to maintain it certainly delicate and not very easy. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every hospital and its executive management team. Of course, throw in specialty groups, physician groups, and all of the unaffiliated clinics around the country and it’s easy to see how broad the issues are.

Dahlborg is among a growing number of healthcare executives who believe the right way to achieve the proper balance is through new relationships. That starts with an end to the separation between management and patient care providers. Dahlborg insists that members of both teams need to do a better job of interacting with one another and relating to each other as people rather than competing interests. He calls for concerted effort to “support one another, understand others’ perspectives and goals, and together improve the system while never losing sight of the people actively engaged within the system.”

In essence, Dahlborg’s position is one of improved working relationships. In order to create a value-based, patient-centered system that does not sacrifice the health of an institution’s business, management, and patient care providers must develop stronger relationships between them. When those relationships are strong, all the players can come together to find innovative solutions for the problems the industry now faces.

There is little doubt that healthcare management jobs of today has changed significantly. What executives used to take for granted in the past becomes harder these days, as executives are looking to adapt to a new way of doing business. The only question remaining is how long it will take for the industry to figure this out and get moving in the right direction again.


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