Challenges for Healthcare Leadership Boards

Challenges for Healthcare Leadership Boards

For a long time healthcare has been a complicated and highly controlled enterprise. And, until 2013, it was possible for the top executives and the boards that oversee them to count on an industry that had stability and predictability.

This changed when reimbursements and patient safety standards were altered. These changes are changing the way healthcare organizations function in order to stay competitive. These changes have created new challenges for healthcare boards.

The opinion leaders we talked to in the course of this research mentioned three types of healthcare board behaviours that they considered to be crucial.

A solid board must ensure that the right information is provided. It should emphasize the importance of quality and safety objectives and give trustees realistic targets. This involves making use of National Quality Forum-endorsed measures and creating a robust benchmarking process that identifies top performers and is aware of the processes they use. The goal is to empower trustees to challenge each hospital to improve the quality of their services and eliminate any errors.

The board should also seek out trustees with a background in safety and quality research (e.g. high reliability, Six Sigma), to serve as chair and members of the board’s Quality Committee. They should be from other industries, like nuclear power or aviation. This will ensure that the board has an expert on hand to guide the CEO and other staff in setting and achieving appropriate targets and making sure that the healthcare leadership is doing all that it can to boost performance.

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