Research conducted jointly by Solucient and Cejka Search on characteristics of chief executive officers, executive team formation and CEO evaluation of organizational success represents a new milestone for Solucient's 100 Top Hospitals program -- our first formal step into evidence -- based management research. Boards and CEOs should find the results of significant interest.
Our research found many similarities among CEOs of all hospitals. However, the true differences between top-performing and median hospitals reflect distinctions that are more subtle than obvious. When it comes to hiring executive talent, our objective results show that both boards and CEOs in high-performing hospitals have different attitudes regarding education, operations experience and promotion from within than median hospitals do. Moreover, CEOs in high-performing hospitals place a different emphasis on the evaluation of organizational success and the definition of future success. Our data show that these hospitals are preparing differently for the future.
Now entering its 13th year, the 100 Top Hospitals program is dedicated to objectively identifying hospitals that set national benchmarks for organizationwide performance and long-term improvement. The 100 Top program was designed to be used by hospital executives and their boards, rather than consumers, to identify and compare hospitalwide benchmark performance as part of their improvement process. The 100 Top program uses a balanced approach to ensure a sound national scorecard for the five hospital categories, and it measures value to the community in clinical quality, patient safety, operations, financial stability and growth.
To objectively identify CEO differences, Solucient and Cejka joined forces to perform CEO survey research. The high-performing and median hospitals were identified using Solucient's statistical framework for all 100 Top Hospitals research, which requires that hospitals perform at the same level for at least three years within a five-year time frame. This approach ensures consistent levels of hospital performance, eliminates "noise" in the data and increases the reliability of differences identified.
The several differences found between high-performing and median boards and CEOs, while not all-encompassing, are real, as are the differences in CEOs' definition of success and how they measure and monitor organizationwide performance. It is our intention to continue to work with Cejka, as well as federal agencies and other private organizations interested in supporting the expansion of this new level of research. This study is a small first step in the development of evidence-based management practices for industry use. We at Solucient intend to continue down this path.