Roundtables

The Accomplishments and Challenges of 2014

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The Accomplishments and Challenges of 2014 By Heather Punke T his year has been another one full of change, challeng- es and opportunities for provider organizations and those who lead them. Here, two hospital and health system CEOs and one chief administrative officer reect on the year and the lessons they learned along the way. Question: Looking back at 2014, what was your biggest accom- plishment as a healthcare leader? Dr. Aaron E. Glatt: I'm very proud of our quality improve- ments — we are continuously moving upward? in our core measures and seeing almost per- fect compliance with all objective measures of care. We were a Joint Commission Top Performers on Key Quality Measures; that's something we're very proud of since only a small percentage of hospitals earn that accolade. e overall quality of our hospital is what makes me the proudest. We are continuously focused on improvement and patient satisfac- tion. Physicians, employees and administrators work in concert to make this a highly recognized and patient recommend hospital. Kenneth Paulus: We expect to finish 2014 on plan, but only achieved that outcome through ag- gressive expense reduction early in the year. Our biggest accomplish- ment is the real-time improvement in our performance, a reflection of the leadership and teamwork displayed in the face of a rapid cycle improvement effort. e days of long planning cycles is behind us — healthcare has become a very volatile and dynamic business that is requiring more robust and proactive leadership. Michael Young: Our biggest accomplishment was completing about 10 years' worth of innova- tions and advancements in one year. We opened a brand-new hospital, a new cancer center and bought a rural, community hospi- tal. We also formed an accountable care organization that has 40,000 covered lives, renovated our cardi- ac ICU, and we started the devel- opment of an affiliation with Penn State Hershey. We completed these initiatives while making quality improvements in sepsis, readmis- sions and chronic heart failure and maintaining infection rates that are among the lowest in the state. Q: What was the biggest chal- lenge you encountered in 2014? AEG: I would say now that would be Ebola, preparing and trying to deal with a potential case. It has been on our minds for months. In the middle of the summer, we posted signage asking patients to let us know if they had traveled to West African countries, and we have a triage system in place. We're trying very hard to prepare for any challenges an Ebola patient might present, like making sure staff are safe and protected, patients get good care and the facility is re- spond effectively and efficiently. We studied Ebola guidelines and are staying abreast of any chang- es. I'm proud of the staff, they are dedicated and want to succeed and do well. KP: [is year] proved to be a very dynamic and volatile year for us. We started the year with so volumes and little improvement in charity care, contrary to our expectations from the Affordable Care Act. We responded to this challenge by reducing expenses proactively to offset these financial pressures. e second half of the year has proven to be very differ- ent, with volumes and charity care improving. Volatility of activity and a change to seasonality for our hospital business has become a bigger part of how we run our business. MY: In light of all that we accom- plished, our biggest challenge was keeping everybody focused on what they needed to accomplish individually. It wasn't just what we were doing as a system. It's a pretty dramatic time in healthcare right now. Keeping people focused Accomplishments, Challenges of 2014 2

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