Q&A: Grady Memorial Hospital's New CEO, John Haupert

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media , August 12, 2011

HL: Can you think of one particular thing in your career that has prepared you best to take this step, what would it be?

Haupert: So often executives go into difficult situations with their own version of a fix and don't take time to create the level of buy-in or collaboration that is needed to make that fix. I do take that time. That's just a part of who I am. It has served me well in my career, and they want someone who will invest the time to create lasting relationships and lasting improvement. These things are never just a quick fix.

HL: Michael Young made some unpopular, but mostly ultimately vindicated moves to turn Grady around financially. What initiatives were left unfinished, and what would you like to carry over from the previous regime?

Haupert: Several things need to be enriched. The way he went about productivity management is in place, and it was good. The revenue cycle work is huge--that has got to be continued. The focus on patient satisfaction that Mike began is still in its beginning phases.
 He had really started looking at clinical service lines that weren't available in the market to try to create them in partnership with other institutions. They did that with stroke care, which is an amazing program that is not duplicated elsewhere. We need to find more like that. Those kinds of programs create profitable growth for the system which funds care for the uninsured and the poor.

One line of departure from the previous strategy would be reflected in my thoughts about how to balance the use of funds between the community clinics vs. acute care. We need to make an investment more on the community side than on the acute side.

Philip Betbeze is senior leadership editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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