ACHE Congress: Leaders must innovate and adapt to changing healthcare industry

More than 4,000 industry leaders from around the globe gathered in Chicago this morning to kick off the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) 2014 Congress on Healthcare Leadership, with the focus on innovating positive change in an evolving industry.

Christine M. Candio, R.N., CEO of Inova Alexandria (Va.) Hospital and senior vice president of Inova Health System, Falls Church, Va., compared the healthcare industry to the open sea, with inherent risk, but the potential to create great waves of change.

"Similarly in healthcare, change is important. It means progress. We need to step into that water," said Candio, ACHE's 2014-2015 chairwoman, in her opening remarks. "With these changes upon us it is imperative ... focusing on quality and safety, the patient experience and affordability." 

New, more integrated models of care, limited financial resources and leaders entering the industry from non-traditional backgrounds will drive innovation and force leaders to adapt to different operation and management approaches, Candio said. 

What matters is how hospital administrators, executives and leaders accept those challenges and risks, keeping in mind the growing importance of patient satisfaction and experience, she said. 

"Our willingness to adapt to change, acknowledge our imperfections and to innovate will determine our success going forward," Candio said. 

In a country with growing population health problems and socioeconomic and racial disparities in healthcare, it is up to leaders and administrators to take challenges head on and make a genuine effort to improve population health and improve patient safety, said Parker B. Francis Distinguished Lecturer Susan Dentzer, a senior policy advisor for the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and health analyst for PBS Newshour

"There's so much more of an appetite for system change around the country," she said in her address.

During the same opening remarks, ACHE 2014 Congress awarded both Charles R. Evans, president and CEO of International Health Services group, and Christopher Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health, Gold Medal Awards for excellence in healthcare leadership.

To learn more:
- visit the conference website