4 Leadership Priorities for the New Year

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media , January 7, 2011

4. Look at rearranging your leadership structure
We've seen lots of organizations—especially multi-hospital health systems—looking at reorganizing their leadership structures in a way that will focus on moving patients more efficiently through the system. For example, many are doing away with titles at individual hospitals within the system, such as the CEO, CFO, COO. Instead, they are appointing senior vice presidents (in some cases, these might be the very same people who were removed from individual hospital leadership functions) of business units, such as imaging, cancer care, physician practices, etc. Hospitals operate differently than physician practices, which many health systems and hospitals now own.

Why should someone with expertise running a hospital be in charge of running the physician practice? While there's still a CEO, CFO, and COO for the whole system, of course, it's a way to capture that sense of "systemness" that is elusive, but that leaders are always talking about. The hospital, after all, is no longer the center of the healthcare experience. Yes, it's a way of breaking down silos but it's also a smarter way to establish that better helps accomplish the goals of the kingdom rather than the fiefdom.

Philip Betbeze is senior leadership editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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