"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Just What Is Culture

We hear about the culture of an organization and, quite honestly, I am not sure that most of us understand what it truly is.  It's actually how we do things. It's how we behave, how we think, how we feel, how we act and what we believe.  It's our values, our attitudes and our practices.  It's the driver of an organization's success.  It's the collective capacity of its people to create value according to Lou Gerstner, the former CEO of IBM. 

Strategy must be aligned with culture.  As we embarked on changing how we do business at WMHS-- moving from a volume-based approach to patient care to one of value based--we had to change the culture of the organization.  It was challenging and it took over two years and we are still working on it.  When an organization makes a change as we did under Total Patient Revenue, we had to improve performance and that can only be achieved through culture (how we act) and strategy (what we act upon).  Most importantly, we did it.  We aren't fully there, but we have made great progress and that is a tribute to both our employed staff and our medical staff.  Happy Hospital Week to all of our employees.

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