Article Type: Editorial
Author: O'Connor, Stephen J.
Pub Date: 11/01/2011
Publication: Name: Journal of Healthcare Management Publisher: American College of Healthcare Executives Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Business; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 American College of Healthcare Executives ISSN: 1096-9012
Issue: Date: Nov-Dec, 2011 Source Volume: 56 Source Issue: 6
Accession Number: 274519822
Full Text: Legislative and policy initiatives, financial and economic demands, and significant shifts in patient demographics are reshaping the terrain of healthcare delivery. To cope with these environmental influences, we must reframe our thinking and refocus on what each change means and how to adjust to and manage it while ensuring that the services and programs we develop in response are appropriate and excellent. We must pay attention to innovative cultures, the needs of diverse populations, suitable organizational structures, the skill sets of quality improvement leaders, and new ways to enhance the patient experience. Responding to these influences requires a comprehensive approach that thoughtfully addresses an organization's mission and values, not a one-size-fits-all quick fix. This issue of the Journal of Healthcare Management can help us be more thoughtful as we set forth and brave the elements in our own change endeavors.

This issue's interview features Sandra Bruce, FACHE. Ms. Bruce details the critical factors that led to a successful financial turnaround at Resurrection Health Care and discusses the recent merger of Resurrection and Provena Health into Illinois's largest Catholic healthcare provider. She describes the elements that make up a Catholic healthcare identity and offers advice to those seeking to eventually become a health system CEO.

Many leaders hold innovation as a high priority but don't consider themselves active innovators--yet healthcare reform necessitates that they become so. In this issue's Trends column Ian R. Lazarus, FACHE, and Daniel Fell provide ideas and examples for creating a culture of innovation.

Reform columnist William D. Petasnick, FACHE, addresses one of the biggest missed opportunities of healthcare reform: end-of-life care counseling, portrayed by some critics as "death panels." Such characterization does little to advance thoughtful discourse on one of healthcare's most difficult and expensive problems. Petasnick describes society's need for a crucial conversation on end-of-life issues and illustrates how end-of-life care can be improved.

Andrew Garman, PsyD, and Linda Scribner, CPHQ, describe a competency model for leaders of healthcare quality efforts that includes 21 competencies within six domains. The authors also examine how the perceived importance of these competencies varies by organizational level. Such a model is pertinent and well-timed as healthcare organizations seek to improve quality.

Denise Kennedy and colleagues describe a seven-prong service quality improvement model developed at Mayo Clinic Arizona and the positive results associated with the model's implementation. Such an accountability-driven approach provides a framework for hospitals that seek to best position themselves for an era of quality transparency and value-based purchasing.

Brette Tschurtz and colleagues explore the provision and use of language services in 14 Florida hospitals. Staff is not always familiar with available language resources; when they are familiar, many do not take full advantage of them. The authors provide practical lessons for improving communication with limited-English-proficiency patients and, in the process, reducing health disparities.

We round out this issue with an Academy of Management abstract by lungyoon Kim, PhD. Employing latent class analysis, Professor Kim identifies three structural types of long-term care organizations based on six observed indicators. Her study offers evidence that specific types of organizational structures are better suited to promoting change efforts by supporting readiness for a commitment to change.

Stephen J. O'Connor, PhD, FACHE

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