International ACHE Profile:
"As we are facing difficult times, finding different ways to get resources is necessary. If you want to be competitive, you need to differentiate through research, technology, patient-centered care, quality and safety."
Q: Tell us briefly about your background in healthcare management.
That year was a difficult one for our hospital, but we managed to fix the issues, and I learned a lot from the situation. The organization divided its risks by working with more insurance companies and creating its own insurance company. The hospital also reduced costs, although we did not stop investing in technology and research.
For me it was an opportunity to learn how to work with a team, sharing the vision and the strategic goals of the organization.
Q: How did you arrive at your current position?
Q: What are your primary job responsibilities?
Q: What is the biggest challenge you face in your current position?
Q: What is the biggest reward?
Q: Briefly describe the overall healthcare atmosphere in the country in which you work.
Q: How do you see the field of healthcare management changing in the next five years?
Q: What advice can you offer for other international affiliates?
The Top Six Global Patient Safety Challenges
Paula Wilson, recently appointed as president and CEO of Joint Commission Resources (JRC) and Joint Commission International (JCI), is tasked with furthering JCI’s mission of improving the safety and quality of care worldwide.
As part of its international hospital accreditation program, JCI requires accredited organizations around the globe to comply with six International Patient Safety Goals, which promote specific improvements in patient safety:
These are areas in which evidence has shown that there is a high degree of error, and that have serious patient outcome implications. Wilson notes that these goals don’t differ significantly from The Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals. The strategies for addressing these goals are also similar. She points out, though, that, "there is no one solution to any of these goals. Organizations need to understand the issues, measure the events and take steps to figure out solutions that are appropriate for their own organization," she says.
In many cases, organizations need to drill down even further to the department level to determine whether the same solution is appropriate across all departments at the same location. Wilson also says that, above all, organizations need to accurately measure their rates of incidents like HAIs and falls. "What you think the rates are might not be what they actually are," she says. "The data have to be manageable, otherwise you get overwhelmed."
Tools such as an electronic health record system or Lean Six Sigma and change management can be effective to use to ensure data is accurate, but organizations need to start by identifying what to measure first. "Ask, ‘What’s our experience with this, and what does this tell us about why it’s happening?’" Wilson says.
In addition to establishing the patient safety goals, Joint Commission International and The Joint Commission work with the World Health Organization as the Collaborating Centre for Patient Safety to develop proactive solutions for patient safety, as well as standard operating protocols (SOPs) for hospitals in Asia and Europe.
"Standard operating protocols are good, but organizations also have to look at their own experiences and processes and evaluate them," Wilson says. "This could involve using the Lean Six Sigma and change management tools that are part of The Joint Commission’s Center for Transforming Healthcare. When organizations find what’s wrong in their particular site, the payoff is enormous."
JCI also has consultants that can help individual organizations identify and implement appropriate strategies for infection prevention, medication safety and more.
"Standard operating procedures are good, but you really do have to look at your individual organization’s experience," she says. "Each has to take a moment and examine its own experiences and processes and evaluate them. If you do find what’s wrong with your particular site, the payoff is enormous."
JCI also has consultants that can help individual organizations determine and implement appropriate strategies for infection prevention, medication safety and more.
"These issues are complicated and challenging, and we’re dealing with them under high stress," Wilson says. "The issues are not different internationally. And that’s one of the most interesting things about this whole process: The steps are the same, but the solutions are different."
Below are new ACHE resources such as books, study courses and websites to help you excel in your career.
Building CEO-Board Relationships That Last
The adverse effects of CEO turnover on a healthcare organization include threats to pursuing the organization's mission, negative effects on hospital-physician relationships and additional drains on the organization's staff and financial resources. To avoid such negative outcomes, hospitals should pursue strategies to attract and retain the right CEOs and to build strong and enduring relationships between CEOs and their board.
To help identify proven approaches that can benefit hospitals and their boards, The Synergy Organization, Bensalem, Pa., conducted an in-depth research study to identify strategies CEOs and board chairs use to increase CEO longevity and success.
The data uncovered six building blocks that highlight the key actions taken by the most successful CEOs and their boards to build solid, lasting leadership partnerships.
The most effective leaders create a clear and compelling vision that everyone can understand. They anticipate and respond to others' fears, goals and dreams so that everyone can direct their actions together toward achieving common goals.
Adapted from “Building CEO-Board Relationships That Last,” written by Kenneth R. Cohen, PhD, president and founder of The Synergy Organization, and published by The American Hospital Association's Center for Healthcare Governance in the October 2008 issue of Trustee. Click here for a full copy of this article.
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