Hospital leaders split on readiness for healthcare changes

Hospital CEOs and board chairs differ on how much progress boards have made in promoting innovation, according to a new survey report from the American Hospital Association's Center for Healthcare Governance.

The 2014 edition of the National Health Care Governance Survey found a disparity between board chairs' and CEOs' opinions on provider boards' level of preparedness for the consequences of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Chairs gave hospital boards much higher scores than did CEOs on board engagement in studying new governance models for potential adoption; development of new strategies for transformational changes; and engagement in frank discussions about organizational transformation.

"What we're seeing is that [hospital boards] are knowledgeable about the need to change, but they have not been having all the discussions that they might have about how to change," says John Combes, M.D., president and chief operating officer of the center, told Hospitals & Health Networks. "They know they need to change, and they can see the transformational change happening around them, but how engaged they've been in developing a new vision and strategy is a little bit surprising that it's not stronger than it is."

To bridge the gap, Combes told the publication, board members should work to improve engagement and self-evaluation processes through strategies such as distance and remote learning. The survey also found boards and management have been slow to improve diversity, and that local board control has significantly weakened.

An October report found the ACA is already forcing many hospital boards to reconsider their traditional business strategies, FierceHealthcare previously reported, and hospitals are increasingly recruiting board members with experience in fields such as finance, insurance, human resources, technology and risk management, as well as qualified prospects from different regions of the country.

To learn more:
- purchase the report
- read the H&HN article