International ACHE Profile:
"Our target is to become Bulgaria’s premier private healthcare provider and have the first hospital in the country with Joint Commission International accreditation. Toward that end, as managing director, I work to instill a culture of high-quality care that will enable City Hospitals and Clinics to achieve that accreditation."
Q: Tell us briefly about your background in healthcare management.
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 members?
International Partnerships a Two-Way Street
Many healthcare providers in developing countries are becoming receptive to the idea of partnering with U.S. hospitals to strengthen their healthcare management skills and ultimately improve the performance of their health system.
These countries are also seeing opportunities for private hospitals and private practice to become involved in the healthcare process as a way to be more responsive to the needs of the population. As such, more countries and their health providers also see the value of a disciplined approach to leadership and governance in which many U.S. hospitals are proficient in.
James A. Rice, PhD, project director, Leadership Management & Governance, Arlington, Va., has worked with several countries in many areas of healthcare, including governance. In Kenya, for example, Rice says healthcare providers there 20 years ago, using best practices from the United States, found that physicians and nurses could be enabled if staff members possessed basic management skills, and management could then be supported if senior leaders had a broader view and vision when looking at system design. Leaders in turn realized they needed a different approach to better governing the system itself, and better governance helps executive leaders.
“All that experience suggested the need to pay attention to a structured formal approach to developing leaders,” says Rice. He says there are three primary motivations when partnering with U.S. healthcare providers:
Just as there are partnership advantages for the host country, there are also benefits to U.S. hospitals, says Charles R. Evans, FACHE, CEO, International Health Services Group, Alpharetta, Ga.
As the CEO of a hospital in Florida in the early 1990s, Evans led an organization that was part of an international partnership with a Russian hospital. “I was taken with what an incredibly positive experience it was not only for our partner in Russian but our own organization,” says Evans. “And I have thoughts of that today in my work with the International Hospital Federation as I encourage other U.S. hospitals to get involved in partnering.”
While U.S. hospitals have much to focus on internally, “there is a place for us to think more broadly than just our own community,” says Evans. He says partnering with underserved international hospitals has three major advantages for U.S. hospitals.
Below are new ACHE resources, such as books, study courses and websites, to help you excel in your career.
ONLINE MEMBER DIRECTORY
The Online Member Directory can help you identify other healthcare leaders in your country and beyond with similar backgrounds or areas of interest. The directory allows you to search by geographic location, area of expertise, job level and other criteria.
Eliminate Credibility Blind Spots
By Cara Hale Alter, author, The Credibility Code: How to Project Confidence and Competence When It Matters Most (Meritus, 2012)
In face-to-face interactions, certain behaviors may be irritating and distracting to some, which can damage your image. Steps, however, can be taken to identify and eliminate these behaviors, also called credibility blind spots. The surest way to uncover credibility blind spots is to capture presentations on video in a typical business setting. While there are numerous behaviors to look for, here are some of the most common: Speech fillers. These are superfluous sounds or words, like “um” and “you know.” A smart, young CEO recently said to his team, “So, I actually sort of passionately believe that we have an opportunity to, uh, you know, sort of really take this platform to a new level. So we just kind of, uh, need to jump in, you know, with full force.” He wanted to fire up his people, but his fillers extinguished his passion. Embrace the tactical pause. Instead of interjecting fillers, simply pause while your mind searches for the next word.
Extraneous movements. Extraneous movements—such as jiggling your knee, bobbing your head or shifting your weight—weaken your personal power. You might say, “I can’t help myself. I just can’t be still.” The truth is, excessive fidgeting is a self-comforting behavior. Stillness sends a message that you’re calm and confident.
Self-commenting. When you feel self-conscious, it’s easy to overreact to your every mistake. If you trip over a word, you might apologize (“Sorry!”), make a joke (“No more coffee for me!”) or resort to nonverbal reflexes like shaking your head or shrugging your shoulders. The problem with this self-commenting is your external preoccupation with your internal criticism. Mistakes happen; simply correct them and move on.
Misplaced upward vocal inflections. You probably work with someone who speaks in “up talk”: using upward inflections that sound like question marks at the end of sentences. This vocal pattern is widespread—and contagious. Be vigilant in not picking it up.
Shrinking tendency. If you’re like most people, when you feel intimidated you make yourself smaller to avoid being an easy target. You might place your feet closer together, tuck your arms to your sides, dip your chin or pull back on your volume. Any or all of these behaviors say “I feel threatened.” Practice optimal standing posture throughout the day—not just in important situations—to help make it habitual.
This article is adapted from one by Cara Hale Alter, author, The Credibility Code: How to Project Confidence and Competence When It Matters Most (Meritus, 2012). Visit thecredibilitycode.com.
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