Saturday, July 23, 2005

Whipkey on Progress by Indirection

Responding to the recent posting titled Progress by Indirection, Florida hospital CEO Neil Whipkey has this to say:

“Regarding the issue of ‘....the central difficulty is the reluctance of trustees to become involved in clinical matters, thus limiting greatly their ability to require cost reduction and quality improvement,’ I believe there is another very distinct explanation why trustees do not get involved. It falls upon the hospital leadership (Administrator, CEO, President or whatever) to lead our boards in the right direction. We need to not only encourage them but also to educate and assist them. Our theme should be quite simple. First, it is good for patient care and second, it is good for the well being and future financial success of the hospital.

It has been my great privilege to be involved in healthcare for over 25 years. I have known, personally, probably over a hundred top hospital officials. They have been, for the most part, intelligent, caring, ethical individuals who have wanted to do the right thing. For whatever reason(s) we (as a group) have come up short when it comes to dealing with quality issues and we have not aggressively chosen to pull our boards into this area.

I believe the lack of board involvement lies with us, the hospital leaders, rather than our boards. I do believe the tide is finally turning but it is still a struggle and we have a long ways to go.”

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