For the third consecutive year, the American College of Healthcare Executives’ Top Issues Confronting Hospitals survey found that financial challenges still rank as CEOs’ top concern, while governmental mandates, patient safety and quality issues, and personnel shortages have jockeyed for second and third place on the list since 2015.
It is not surprising that CEOs consider these issues to be among the most pressing they face given the complexities of healthcare today. However, none of these issues will be resolved without committed leadership to guide healthcare organizations through the challenges.
In an environment that presents the industry with a significant opportunity to reimagine how it can deliver safer, more-accessible care, leadership is essential to guide innovation for improved outcomes and collaboration to share best practices.
Leadership is needed to create and sustain cultures of safety that will improve outcomes and patient satisfaction, reduce errors and costs, and keep our employees and communities safe when crises arise.
To build and sustain a robust healthcare workforce, leader-mentors are critical to grow and strengthen the next generation with an emphasis on increasing diversity and inclusion in healthcare management. Studies suggest diversity in healthcare management can enhance quality of care, quality of life in the workplace, community relations and the ability to impact community health.
From my perspective, leadership is the cornerstone of progress, allowing us to make a difference for our patients and communities, regardless of the challenges we encounter. It’s how we guide our teams to be courageously innovative. It’s how we make sure everyone has a voice. And it’s how we educate, engage and inspire professionals across the healthcare leadership community. Consider the opportunities:
Innovating and transforming healthcare. With disruption challenging paradigms across nearly every dimension of healthcare, industry leaders must maintain focus on delivering the core promise of safe, effective care to our patients. Leaders show the way with courage and innovation, exhibiting a relentless pursuit to identify and deliver promising solutions that matter to patients.
Building partnerships across the leadership community. Advancing equity, quality and efficiency in healthcare calls for new insight and perspective among the many diverse members of the healthcare leadership community. Effective leaders marshal the power of relationships and dismantle silos to innovate and accomplish the work of healthcare.
Ensuring everyone is heard. Research shows racial and ethnic disparities and perceived lack of parity still exist in healthcare workplaces. While the healthcare management profession has made strides in increasing diversity and inclusion within the workforce, it remains a priority to accelerate efforts to diversify the workforce and leadership teams.
Serving as a source of strength in times of crisis. The nation recently observed the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which claimed 17 lives. And just last month, five people died and a number of police officers were wounded in a mass shooting in suburban Chicago. Such violence has become a major public safety and health issue in the U.S., with healthcare organizations around the country experiencing its impact both in their communities and in their facilities. Healthcare leaders must provide the guidance needed to address and mitigate the threat of violence in the community and the workplace.
As a healthcare leader and ACHE chair, I will be particularly committed to creating a sense of engagement with members of our profession to ensure that our leadership community is well prepared for the ever-evolving healthcare landscape.
With leaders working at the bedside, in the C-suite and in the boardroom, we can deliver on our core promise to keep patients safe, while cultivating a community united in purpose, compassion and collaboration.