J|Insights: Hospitals under scrutiny – What healthcare leaders can do

In the previous conversation with our CEO David Jarrard, we talked about what’s going on with the increasing scrutiny being placed on hospitals and health systems by the media, the public and politicians.

We also talked about what healthcare leaders can do to prepare their organizations. Here, Jarrard discusses what those same leaders can do personally to prepare and perhaps even change the way they approach their job in order to lead their organizations through an uncertain year.

Listen to the podcast or read the transcript below.

Read the transcript

David Shifrin: We’ve been talking more and more about the increased scrutiny on the healthcare industry, including traditional providers, which we’ve pointed out has not historically been the case nearly to the extent that we’re seeing today. And we’ve talked a little bit about how those organizations can respond and should be responding.

What should a healthcare leader be doing and thinking about personally as they work to prepare themselves to then help their organization navigate all this change?

David Jarrard: It’s a really important, particularly when the future is so uncertain. Many health system leaders are not in the position to say, “I know exactly what’s going to happen over the next five years and so follow me as I pursue this very structured strategy over the next 60 months.”

But one thing we’ve learned as a firm, is that the messenger is as important as the message. And as a leader, you embody that messenger role. The messenger role is an emotional role and it’s where trust happens.

So, “Our plans for the future are facts. Let me take you through these facts, and here’s how these facts will make healthcare better.” And that’s really important. But when the facts are soft or uncertain or variable, people – and by people I mean patients, but also your nurses and doctors and board members – they go to who they trust.

Trust is a personal experience that comes with personal interaction. It comes with vulnerability. It comes with transparency. It comes with the ability to deliver a sense of intention. And how do you create that sense of intention and trust? You do it by being personally present, by shaking people’s hands, by rounding in the hallways, by engaging them even with difficult conversations.

It’s no surprise to anyone that healthcare… that things are changing, and things are changing in ways that will be very disruptive to the way things have always been for a long time. So as leaders, we recognize we’re not going to upset anybody by saying that things are going to change. We can be helpful by by saying, ‘Things are going to change and you can trust my intentions to do the right thing as things change. And that I as a leader trust you, nurse, you, doctor, you tech, you volunteer, because you’re here and because you’re good-minded and good-hearted, and together we can do extraordinary things. So let’s trust that. And then with that base of trust, we can build great things for the future.’

David Shifrin