President's Message

Happy Holidays to All THEF Members,

2010 is coming to an end and from the feedback we received from you, it was a great educational year for the Triad Healthcare Executive Forum.

The Chapter conducted four educational sessions facilitated by excellent local speakers. All of our speakers are senior healthcare executives from different health systems in Triad. Topics of interest were chosen based on previous feedback we received from you and these were, “Leading a Successful Multigenerational Organization”, “Your Career GPS”, “Medical Staff Relations”, and our annual “Legal Update”.  Of special note, the Annual Meeting was a huge success. We had the largest audience in attendance of record for this end of year meeting. The fact that we had significant changes in the healthcare field with the passing of Health Reform, and consequently change in the House of Congress, that may explain the major interest and attendance to this Legal Update. 

On behalf of all THEF members, I wanted to say a huge thank you to all of our 2010 speakers who shared their wealth of knowledge and experience, and as a result, made our chapter the local resource of healthcare education for many of our members and non-members.

At the Annual Meeting the proposed 2011 Board of Directors slate of officers were presented and approved by all members present. The 2011 THEF Board of Directors areas follows: Pamela Sinclair, President; Sam Seifert, President-Elect; Wendy Hicks, Treasurer/Secretary; Preston Hammock, Director; and Paul Jeffrey, Director.

At this time I would like to thank you for allowing me to serve as the 2010 President of the Board of Directors. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with a great team of colleagues to be able to facilitate education and network opportunities for you the members of the Triad Healthcare Executive Forum.

Sincerely,

Paul A. Jeffrey
President
2010 Board of Directors

Message from the Regent - Winter 2010

Regent’s Message, Winter 2010
Fred T. Brown, Jr., FACHE
Regent for North Carolina

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to work at least until 2014. I probably could retire earlier than that but I really want to see what we do with health reform and try to be a small part of the positive change that will be required. Since I started as a community hospital CEO in 1973 (before many of you were born) amazing breakthroughs have taken place in healthcare but I am not sure that our population is that much healthier. I went to England to study the British National Health Service in 1978 and at the time there were more CT scanners in North Carolina than in the whole United Kingdom. I also saw my first hospice (which did not exist in our state at the time) which has become such a positive serve across our country. Although there were significant differences in the demographics of North Carolina and the United Kingdom, I really could not positively state that our healthcare system was significantly better.  In the US since then we  have built remarkable hospitals, implemented amazing technology, trained world class physicians , nurses,  and even healthcare executives but to what end? Are we spending enough on prevention? Can we sustain the cost of what our population needs and demands? Will we “baby boomers” break the bank?

Our healthcare system has consolidated and will consolidate more.  This has helped in some ways to improve efficiency and control costs. Consider, however,  that a third of the hospitals in our state lose money from operations, that the federal plan to implement  electronic  health records is only funded at a level where 50% of hospitals and medical staffs will be successful at achieving meaningful use.  Does this portend that the other 50% of hospitals and providers become irrelevant?  Is the intent of Federal Reform to reduce the number of hospitals and drive transformation of care delivery to something very different than exists now?

I have been at this career for over 37 years and really thought when I first started out that we as a nation would have had all this figured out by now. I admit to being naïve but you would think that spending 20% of our GNP would have us at more advanced state than where we are in terms of the health status of Americans. Why are we ranked, depending on the study, as being anywhere from the 20th to 30th most unhealthy population of developed countries around the world? The awful truth came to me years ago. Healthcare delivery has little to do with health status in the US.

I have been asked why the healthcare system does not do more prevention and education for the populations served. It may sound cynical but the truth is hospitals and physicians do not get paid to do this now, but that is about to change. My suggestion is that we get ahead of the curve and work on population health improvement now. We know how to prevent diabetics from getting to a state of health where they have to be hospitalized. We know that calling patients seven days after discharge has no effect on readmission rates and these calls need to take place within twenty-four hours of discharge. Coaching and teaching patients and the community about healthy living, eating, and exercise can be accomplished in so many ways. Hospitals and doctors are not in this alone. We need to build coalitions of business, local and state government,  public health, YMCAs, school systems and senior centers to name a few. To not undertake the initiative now is to continue to put our nations healthcare costs on those big state and federal credit cards with no spending limit (until we cannot make the interest payments).

Health Reform will not be repealed, but we do have a chance to make it into something that will better solve our health status and healthcare delivery problems. Now is an exciting time. I heard a professor last week at the Gillings School of Global Public Health  at UNC say that we no longer could afford to “think outside the box. We had to start thinking outside the building!” As healthcare leaders we have never had such an opportunity to affect change that will be so meaningful to our communities, state and nation.  My thought is we start now, keep an eye on Washington, but not wait until thousands of pages of policy has been written. Our consumers are getting older, our population consuming more care and we have to turn the tide now or our children and my grandchildren will pay for our inaction.

Doing what we always have done is like trying to drive a car by looking in the rear view window. Now is the time for innovation, new community initiatives and for thinking “outside the building.”

I am proud to be your Regent.


Fred T. Brown, Jr., MPH, FACHE
Regent for North Carolina

2012 to 2014 Credentialing Changes

2012 to 2014 Credentialing Changes

Throughout ACHE’s history the requirements for becoming board certified have evolved to ensure that the process of earning the FACHE credential and being recertified is rigorous, reflecting current trends and the significance of the credential as an indicator of professional development and commitment.

At its November 2010 meeting, the ACHE Board of Governors revised the requirements associated with earning the FACHE credential and for recertification to address the need for face-to-face education and to increase the required continuing education credits.

The changes, which also impact the definition of Category I (ACHE education) hours, will be fully implemented January 1, 2014. The detailed decision and rationale is contained in the attached document on the ACHE website: "Strengthening the Value of Fellowship: A Learning Community of Peers" and its companion document "Changes in FACHE Continuing Education Requirements: Q&A." These were written to communicate the Board’s decision. A Quick Reference Guide has also been created to communicate the changes.


Dos and Doníts for Critiquing Employees Effectively

As a manager, it’s part of your job to critique employees. The trick to being a good manager is knowing how to give constructive criticism. Here are some tactics to remember:

  • Schedule the “criticism meeting” one day later than you want to. Force yourself to take that extra time to think the situation through carefully. Most criticism that goes terribly awry is the result of doing it too quickly.
  • Don’t bring other people into it. Many managers, in order to try to “prove their point,” bring in “witnesses”—other employees who will agree with what the manager has to say. Not only will this divide your team, but it’s highly uncomfortable for everyone involved.
  • Although it’s good to wait a little while, don’t avoid the problem. Giving yourself some time to think things through and come up with a plan is not the same as letting the problem linger for days, weeks, or even months.
  • When you criticize, don’t compare. Comparing one employee unfavorably with another employee doesn’t do any good, because they’re not the same people. And the employee you are criticizing will resent both you and your “favorite” employee.
  • Be specific when you criticize. For example, don’t tell someone that she “doesn’t follow through on projects”—unless you can point to specific examples.

Adapted from “Dos and Don’ts for Critiquing Employees Effectively,” Communication Solutions, August 2010; (800) 878-5331; www.managementresources.com.


 

Break Through Communication Jams

Schedule a joint feedback session when you find yourself at a communication impasse with a colleague or employee. Sit down with your colleague, with a piece of paper in front of each of you bearing the headings “Do more of,” “Do less of” and “Keep the same.” Under each heading on your paper, write behaviors of yours that you believe your colleague would put in that category for you.

Meanwhile, your colleague should do the same on the other paper, listing behaviors that the person believes you would place in those categories for him. Then, look at the other’s self-described behavior and say which you agree with, which you disagree with and what you would like to add.

Finish by selecting three behaviors from that final list that you will begin to change immediately. That shows your commitment to improving the relationship.

Adapted from “Break Through Communication Jams,” Communication Solutions, August 2010; (800) 878-5331; www.managementresources.com.

Tips on Effective Mediation of a Dispute

Step up when you notice that a personal conflict between two employees is starting to flare up and affect the larger group’s effectiveness. Follow these simple guidelines:

  • Seek an invitation. For the most part, staffers might not appreciate having you or anyone interfere without permission. However, if they seem incapable of resolving the matter on their own, do not wait for them to ask you to intervene. Let them know up front that you have noticed a problem, and offer them the choice of solving it on their own by a certain deadline or with your assistance.
  • Make it clear that you will not be taking sides. Explain in advance that you intend to be objective. Although you may speak with each employee separately, explain that you will pass along what each person tells you, to give the other person a chance to verify and also clarify.
  • Pass along criticism and comments. Sharing positive remarks as well as negative comments allows each person to see the merit in the other person’s position.
  • Point out miscommunication and misperceptions. The employees’ relationship may be suffering because of wrong information, invalid assumptions, misjudged intentions or incorrect conclusions. Tell them what you see, remind them of their common goals and needs and ask them to suggest solutions.
  • Keep the lines of communication open. After they resolve the issue, look for or create opportunities for them to interact occasionally. Recognize and reward positive actions that contribute to open communication.
     

Adapted from “Change Crisis-Management Approach” Communication Briefings, November 2010; (800) 791-8699; www.briefingsmediagroup.com.

 

Tailor Your Crisis-Management Approach

You will stay more firmly in control of your emotions, your team and your schedule if you tailor your management style—be responsive and not reactionary. What’s the difference? Reacting means jumping in before you have thought through the situation. Responding means waiting until you have taken in the situation thoroughly and come up with a plan.

Take these steps to start responding:

  • Remember the big picture. Do not overlook your goals and objectives. Consider how the current situation fits into the big picture and you will find it easier to respond appropriately.
  • Put it in context. What is happening on your team and throughout your organization? Make sure that your next step benefits you, the organization and everyone involved.
  • Do not favor emotion over logic. But do not focus on logic alone. The best decisions come from a blend of gut reaction and facts. Balance your immediate visceral response with the information you need to fill in critical blanks.
  • Recognize choices. When you react immediately, you often do not realize that you have more than one good option. If you take time to analyze the situation, you will realize that you always have choices.

Consider them—and their likely consequences—before you act.

Adapted from “Change Crisis-Management Approach” Communication Briefings, November 2010; (800) 791-8699;
www.briefingsmediagroup.com.