Healthcare has three pillars: It needs to be accessible. It needs to be affordable. And it needs to be high-quality.
Ultimately, the responsibility for all three of those rests with an organization’s governing board. It is the C-suite that strategizes, that manages, that executes. But it is the board’s job to set the tone, establish the priorities and clearly communicate those goals.
The American Hospital Association just finished accepting responses for its well-respected governance survey and is scheduled to publish the findings during the fourth quarter. Its most recent one, which surveyed hospital CEOs in the spring of 2018 and was released in 2019, showed little progress in board diversity and identified concerns about good governance and worries that board practices were not changing fast enough to keep up with a rapidly evolving and exceedingly complex healthcare sector.
And that was before a global pandemic.
The unparalleled demands made on healthcare organizations during the past two years required strong, engaged boards that could navigate new terrain and develop policy that not only dealt with current events but also shaped a healthy future for patients, employees, organizations and their communities.
That’s why Modern Healthcare late last year called for nominations for its rebranded Excellence in Governance awards program.
This year’s class of 14 honorees profiled have tackled the myriad challenges facing healthcare organizations of all sizes: the need to improve the work/life balance for all employees, to bring healthcare access to disenfranchised and rural communities, to develop new care models that also tackle costs, and to improve medical school opportunities.
They also have prioritized turning diversity, equity and inclusion and environmental, social and governance from buzzy acronyms into real initiatives.