International ACHE Profile:
Paul Y. Chang, MD, FACHE
Managing Director, Asia Pacific
Joint Commission International
Q: Tell us briefly about your background in healthcare management.
A: I am a physician with a master’s in public health. I also am a certified professional in healthcare quality and became a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives earlier this year. I have been working in healthcare administration and management for 10 years.
Q: How did you arrive at your current position?
A: I previously worked in a large public hospital in Singapore overseeing clinical risk management, clinical quality improvement, patient safety and licensing and accreditation activities. At the same time, I also functioned as a Joint Commission International (JCI) surveyor on a part-time basis. JCI invited me to consider the position of managing director, Asia Pacific, when it became vacant in 2007.
Q: What are your primary job responsibilities?
A: I am responsible for JCI’s activities in Asia Pacific, including accreditation, consultation, education and training activities, and publication distributions and sales. I also am responsible for furthering the development of relationships between JCI and Asia-Pacific healthcare organizations, and I work with regional ministries of health, other governmental agencies, hospitals, laboratories and other healthcare organizations in their efforts to reduce risk and improve health outcomes.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you face in your current position?
A: In Asia, building and maintaining good relationships is the key to business success. This requires plenty of face-to-face contact. JCI is currently active in 13 countries in the Asia Pacific region, so it is challenging to be able to stay in close touch with all our accredited organizations and clients.
Q: What is the biggest reward?
A: The biggest reward is to hear from healthcare organizations how JCI has helped them improve the quality and safety of care that they deliver, and how much happier and more satisfied their patients are.
Q: Briefly describe the overall healthcare atmosphere in Singapore.
A: The Singapore healthcare system is a unique one; there is a very high quality of care delivered, yet the national expenditure on healthcare remains very low, at 4 percent of gross domestic product. Healthcare organizations are constantly urged to look at how to help their patients prevent or manage their diseases better, as well as strive toward organizational efficiency and waste avoidance. Singapore healthcare organizations also invest a lot of resources into continuing education of staff, quality improvement and enhancing patient safety.
Q: How do you see healthcare management changing in the next five years?
A: In many areas, the field of healthcare management still has a way to go before it catches up with management practices common in other industries. We are going to be seeing a lot of dynamism in the field in the coming years.
Q: What advice can you offer for other international affiliates?
A: Many of ACHE’s programs are relevant even if you are not currently based in the United States. Attending the ACHE Congress on Healthcare Leadership is also an excellent way to keep abreast of the latest advances in healthcare management and network with your peers. Don’t miss it!
Are Leadership Strategies Location-Specific?
Leadership strategies for healthcare management professionals vary depending on location, government involvement and cultural issues, to name a few factors. Here, three leaders from different regions of the world list their top four leadership strategies.
By Megan Downey
Dalal Alwadaani, MD
CEO, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Hospital
- Abide by the rules of the ministry; they control all healthcare systems.
- Do not focus on developing marketing or financial strategies. All money is provided and allocated by the ministry.
- Maintain sensitivity to cultural issues (for example, creating separate waiting rooms for men and women).
- Build strong negotiation and political competency skills. You must be an excellent change agent to convince the ministry of your needs.
Dan Snyder, FACHE
CEO, Asia Pacific Health Partners
- Treat each healthcare system as unique.
- Collaboration is key, sometimes even taking a circuitous route to problem solving to make sure all are included and to gain consensus.
- The core family, with the patriarch as leader, is the focus of all life. The healthcare system needs to uphold these values.
- Maintain respect for many cultures living in harmony (Chinese, Malay, Indian, Indonesian, etc.).
John Deffenbaugh III
Director, Frontline Consultants
- Cost-cutting is ace high due to the harsh budget cuts in the government’s recent Comprehensive Spending Review.
- Developing partnerships is critical, as a range of public sector resources will need to be pooled for a bigger return than in single programs.
- Since staff account for 65-70 percent of NHS costs in England, change management is a top priority.
- Performance management is key as the NHS is shifting toward a more long-term view focused on outcomes.
Below are new, timely ACHE resources such as books, study courses and websites to help you excel in your career.
Leading Organizations Use Engagement to Drive Performance
The best organizations have one resource in common to achieve optimal performance: enthusiastic, engaged employees. How do they make this happen when resources are tight? The results from The Hay Group’s recent studies show how.
The Benefits of Engagement
The best companies have managed to exit the economic downturn with higher levels of staff motivation than before: 70 percent of firms in the recent FORTUNE World's Most Admired Companies study reported better engagement post-downturn, compared to 50 percent of their peers. The best-performing firms have also invested in leadership that creates motivating and inspiring work climates.
Engagement Is Not Enough
While nine of out 10 employees say they are committed to success, less than two-thirds believe they are as productive as they could be. Employees need to be enabled to channel their enthusiasm into productive and satisfying action.
Achieve Performance From Engagement
The top 20 firms in The Hay Group’s recent leadership study do much better than their peers in addressing trends that affect employees' choices today: globalization, work-life balance, the role of women in the workplace, a growing environmental focus. They also offer clear career progression. And their reward packages reflect this clear, progress-oriented picture.
Careful tuning of reward programs is a key way in which the best companies are driving performance without committing extra resource. We found that organizations in all sectors were working hard to link performance more tightly to reward, differentiating reward according to how each individual performs. In order to create this performance culture, FORTUNE’s World's Most Admired Companies set metrics around long-term thinking, teamwork, building human capital and customer loyalty.
Inspire Your Employees
Our work constantly reinforces the fact that leaders are critical to driving performance. Leaders at the best companies create cultures that inspire employees to give their best. Inspiration, teamwork and a strategic “long view” are now more valued leadership qualities at the best companies than technical competence or the ability to execute.
Adapted from “How leading organizations use engagement to drive performance cost-effectively,” The Hay Group Leader newsletter, Issue 15, July 2010. Click here for a full copy of this article.
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