The Virtua executive team's biggest challenge, as CEO Rich Miller sees it, is transitioning from a reliance on acute hospital-based care into providing or arranging care outside the hospital's walls.
From that perspective, the New Jersey-based non-profit healthcare system's CEO is probably not much different from hundreds of other health system CEOs across the country, many of whom are making big—and risky—changes in the ways their hospital or health systems do business.
It's clear that in order to continue to exist, as an array of incentives and disincentives work together to force institutions to look at healthcare more holistically, senior leaders must not only provide a vision for what the future may look like, but they also must evoke a change in culture from their employees. Further, and most importantly, they must articulate a vision for how that transformation can be achieved.
As I've pointed out previously in this space, the challenges are relatively easy to identify. The key difficulty in any transformation is not in identifying processes that are less beneficial for patients (and soon less beneficial to the bottom line), but in finding out what changes deliver the biggest improvement in patient satisfaction, elimination of waste, and ultimately, improvement in outcomes.
"Getting people in all settings to think differently about the connectivity between each setting is what will make the model work over the next 10 to 15 years," Miller says of the four-hospital, 885-staffed-bed system in Marlton, NJ. "It's kind of like turning a battleship."