15 healthcare leaders who have something to say

When heavy hitters in healthcare talk, Fierce listens. Whether speaking in exclusive interviews with FierceHealthcare and FierceHealthIT editors or addressing a room full of conference attendees, healthcare industry leaders shared their expertise, lessons learned and words of advice on everything from strict employee wellness programs to abandoned merger deals to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act.

FierceHealthcare selected some of the most memorable quotes from healthcare leaders during the past year. Check out our favorite quotes and the leaders who said them:

1. "It's not hotel amenities. It's not china plates for meals. While those things are very nice, a true patient/family-centered care model is really at the core of the heart of care."

Who said it: Michele Lloyd, vice president for Children's Services at NYU Langone Medical Center, explaining what makes a successful patient/family-centered care model.

2. "In a Muggle world--the world we live in--the provider can't go into the room of paper charts and flourish their wand and say, 'All the patients with diabetes!' and the charts fly out and hover in the air. 'All those who didn't come back to see me, over here!' Send in an owl."

Who said it: Health IT coordinator Farzad Mostashari, M.D., discussing the problems with using paper records at CHIME's Fall CIO forum last month.

3. "People might think you're crazy by giving out all those contact numbers. When I first did it, the staff thought it was a bad idea. They said, 'You'll never have time to do anything else besides answer the phone.'"

Who said it: Windsor Regional Hospital CEO and President David Musyj, a FierceHealthcare advisory board member, who has taken an unconventional approach to patient and staff communication, freely giving out his email, office number, home number and cell number to the public.

4."It's not 'Big Brother' to foster health. It's not that we say to an employee, 'You can't bring a sugared beverage on campus and drink it. We just don't want to be the enabler for bad health habits."

Who said it: Chief Wellness Officer Michael Roizen, defending the Cleveland Clinic's strict wellness program that bans smoking and sugared drinks, a policy that hit its five-year anniversary in August.

5. "Payers take the brunt of a lot of people's discontent, but it isn't always their fault. Ultimately, they are selling a product."

Who said it: Richard Maziarz, M.D., medical director of the Adult Stem Cell Transplantation Program & Center for Hematologic Malignancies at Oregon Health & Science University, noting that simply having an environment for providers and payers to share information is the first step to solving healthcare's problems.

6. "The term I like to use for it is 'rescue care.' And it's an attitude as much as anything. If it might work, let's do it. It's the hope for the miracle. But maybe only 1 in 100 will get the miracle, and the other 99 are going to get a little bit of harm, at massive expense."

Who said it: Brent James, M.D., Intermountain Healthcare's chief quality officer, calling for a move away from the mindset that more care means better care.

7. "If you take a small, rural emergency department with 10 beds, and you compare that head to head with a 100-bed emergency department in an intercity or county hospital, it's really apples and oranges. Both say 'emergency' on the front door, but the way each hospital operates is very different."

Who said it: Jesse Pines, director of the Center for Healthcare Quality at George Washington University and associate professor of emergency medicine and health policy in Washington, D.C., and FierceHealthcare advisory board member, explaining why emergency department throughput measures endorsed by the National Quality Forum paint large, urban hospitals in a bad light.

8. "Imagine an intoxicated person working in a hospital setting, and you'll have a better understanding of the dangers of being fatigued." 

Who said it: Frederick Southwick, professor at the University of Florida and manager of New Quality and Safety Initiatives for the University of Florida and Shands Health Care System, highlighting the risks sleepy surgeons pose to patient safety.

9. "It is, suffice it to say, the FTC--and we are on clearly different pages. But I would also suggest the FTC and other parts of the administration are on different pages, as well."

Who said it: Bob Sehring, CEO of Ambulatory Services at OSF HealthCare and FierceHealthcare advisory board member, claiming the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice don't share the same views on using collaboration to improve healthcare delivery as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

10. "It only takes one cold meal tray or a roll of the eyes by a staff member to derail the patient experience."

Who said it: Jeremy Tucker, medical director of MedStar St. Mary's Hospital in Leonardtown, Md., and FierceHealthcare advisory board member, reminding providers that better patient experience comes from cultural change and not simply a series of initiatives.

11. "Physicians want to be engaged. ... They're tired of being considered the noise in the system."

Who said it: James Hereford, chief operating officer of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and former executive vice president of Group Health Cooperative's group practice division, who doesn't think hospitals will have trouble getting physician buy-in for lean management strategies.

12. "I hate ICD-10. It drives me crazy."

Who said it: Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halvorson blasting the upcoming deployment of ICD-10 as anathema to his organization at the Healthcare Financial Management Association's Annual National Institute in June.

13. "It's ... like you have this little devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other, arguing about sending (patients) to observation care or admitting them."

Who said it: Jeff Butler, senior compliance auditor for Alabama's Baptist Health System, describing the fine line between inpatient and outpatient care, a RAC audit hotspot.

14. "This bill was written by the insurance companies and the big hospitals, and their stock prices went up right after the Supreme Court upheld it, so you know who will benefit."

Who said it: G. Keith Smith, an anesthesiologist and chief medical director at the Surgery Center in Oklahoma City, projecting that the Affordable Care Act will continue to drive premiums upward.

15. "It's a humbling thought that people from all different backgrounds have to come together in the OR at the same time. The OR puts my life in perspective."

Who said it: Kenneth Cohn, a general surgeon, CEO of HealthcareCollaboration.com and frequent Hospital Impact blogger, offering strategies to transform a dysfunctional operating room at the American College of Healthcare Executives' annual congress in March.