"The role of administrative leadership is to serve, coach, and support our physician colleagues down the path of more effective clinical integration, and to some degree to help lead a very disparate group into a more unified group through better organizational skills," he added.
A "Tsunami" of Changes
J. Thomas Jones, president and CEO of West Virginia United Health System in Fairmont, WV, believes effective physician leadership is crucial now because the industry is experiencing a "tsunami" of changes around reimbursements and clinical delivery models.
In order for healthcare provider organizations to ride out the storm, he said, physicians need to feel that they are part of the decision-making process and there has to be a willingness between physicians and administrators to work together. Otherwise, an organization may fail to impress upon its staff the degree to which the industry is changing and the need to prepare for what is ahead, he warned.
"I think the greatest problem that we all face is that people have a really hard time understanding that this is a monumental shift. It's a total change. It's not an evolution; it's going to be a revolution with what is coming down the road. And, I think that's the hardest thing to do is convince people that they are going to have to change significantly. It's not about incremental change anymore," Jones said.