Corporate leadership has become extremely challenging in healthcare. Changes in markets, regulations, public pressure over pricing, technologies, and patient expectations have put new demands on how healthcare is run. But even while dealing with new conditions, industry executives still face classic issues in managing provider organizations and people in general.
Becker’s Hospital Review ran some management advice from a number of healthcare leaders in 2013 and then did it again last year. Here are some of the some of the more interesting and applicable bits of advice these senior healthcare executives offered.
Start with humility
The inclination of many executives is to go into a business, roll up their sleeves, and then tell everyone else what to do. However, one of the biggest dangers in management is deciding that you know what the solution is. Chances are you may not be clear on what the real issues are once you’re past the surface. Be curious and ask questions. Recognize that employees dealing with patients, payers, other providers, and the day-to-day issues likely have a natural insight into what needs to be done to make things run more smoothly. Always be ready to learn.
Focus on the patients
Many of the necessary aspects of a healthcare business, like getting paid by insurance companies, can run from annoyance at the least up to manically frustration. But while all that must happen, letting it become the primary driver of your day is dangerous. All the billing and operational minutiae only exist for the true mission of a healthcare organization, and that’s to help patients. If you maintain focus on patient well-being, other aspects of the business fall into perspective and you can make strategic decisions to support the mission, not just the mechanics.
Be ready to pause
Rushing from one issue to the next means you frequently give up the chance to pause and consider your next decision from a strategic view. Pausing doesn’t mean procrastination. Instead, make deliberate consideration a part of your routine. Also, don’t immediately assume that all problems need a solution this minute. Things often manage to work themselves out within a day or so. Save resources for where they’re really needed.
Be willing to listen
People want to know that they can make a difference and that they are respected for their expertise, experience, and work. Have an open-door policy so that anyone can speak their mind and suggest ideas. There is a wealth of help you can gain from everyone in the building. Take advantage of it by letting them all know they are welcome to offer it.
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