The skills pioneered by this year's inductees into Modern Healthcare's Health Care Hall of Fame set the stage for what have become routine practices in contemporary healthcare management.
Bringing scientific measurement and collaborative relationships to healthcare first required someone to articulate the theory. That someone was John Griffith, professor emeritus of healthcare management and policy at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He was an early pioneer in developing techniques for measuring quality and market share and forecasting demand in the hospital sector. His classic Quantitative Techniques for Hospital Planning and Control, published in 1972, laid the groundwork for subsequent developments in those disciplines.
His most widely used textbook, however, is The Well-Managed Healthcare Organization, now in its seventh printing. It emphasizes the need for hospital leaders to promote teamwork and continuous improvement. These strategies are as much in use today as when he first wrote about them in 1987.
Those skills were certainly needed in the 1990s when Fred Brown, the former president and CEO of BJC HealthCare in St. Louis, was playing the central role in knitting together what would become a 13-hospital system with 200 care sites across Missouri and Illinois. It was one of the first megamergers in the not-for-profit healthcare sector, setting a pattern for the dozens of mergers that followed over the ensuing decades.