The uneasy world of health execs

John Taylor: December 21, 20120 Comments

Two issues getting a lot of play these days in the healthcare world --- dissatisfaction/uneasiness in the face of change and healthcare reform. In many ways, it's one and the same issue. Below are some quotes from health executives. The first four are excerpted from interviews in the December issue of HealthLeaders magazine; the final one from a Q&A in the Wall Street Journal.

“Someone told me one time, “You’re not the CNO; you’re the mother of 50.” That’s about how it really is. If you put it in that perspective – like how you would deal with your children – it makes things a little easier.” --- Pam Harmon, chief nursing officer, Rooks County Health Center, Plainville, Kansas

“There is some frustration because there is less that the CEO level can do to guarantee that things are happening because you are relying on so many other people to do their part. In the old days it was much more of a one-man show.” --- Alan J. Burgess, CEO, Tehachapi (Calif.) Valley Healthcare District

“If tomorrow we were purchased by an outside organization I am guessing you would still call me a ‘health leader,’ but now I’ve gone from running an organization to becoming a cog in a wheel.” --- Terrence Deis, president and CEO, Parma (Ohio) Community General Hospital

“It isn’t reputation and billboards that win the day anymore. It’s outcomes.” --- Jeff Thompson, MD, CEO, Gundersen Health System, La Crosse, Wis.

“What is the most expensive instrument in the hospital? The doctor’s pen. We have to make them cost-conscious. Otherwise, how are we going to reduce the cost?” --- Delos Cosgrove, MD, CEO, Cleveland Clinic

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