"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.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Perception Isn't Necessarily Reality

Today, I am attending the Maryland Hospital Association's Annual Meeting in Baltimore.  It is always an informative meeting and a great opportunity for networking and board education.  WMHS has eleven attendees between board and executives; may seem like a lot, but it is a great opportunity for all of us to learn and to hear a consistent message related to health care in Maryland. 

One of today's speakers was Quint Studer, who is an author, consultant and former hospital CEO.  Quint's message was stressing the urgency for leadership in today's very complicated health care environment.  It was a very informative presentation.  In the Q&A session, he was asked which one was the highest performer out of the hundreds of hospitals with whom he has worked in his consultative role and why.  He gave his answer.  He named the health system, which will remain unidentified for what will become obvious. 

Quint said that what sets this health system apart is that their CEO has the stated desire for high performance (actually most of us do), they communicate with purpose, their metrics are transparent (they are posted throughout the hospital), they use objective and weighted performance evaluations and their leaders are required to have fifty hours of leadership training.  Impressive!  At WMHS, we are always looking for successful health systems to benchmark ourselves against.  So, I Googled them and what I found was not very complimentary.  Most of the comments about this health system from the perspective of their patients were not very favorable and their overall rating was in the fair-to-poor range.  Wow!  Here is a high profile consultant who is well known throughout health care, is extremely knowledgeable and has a wealth of experience and who perceives that his named highest performing hospital is functioning at the top of their game and yet reality is very different.  As I have blogged in the past, health care is an extremely difficult and challenging industry.  A point that is well demonstrated in the preceding example.

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