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Sheila Talton

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How hospitals can avoid doom

Last Judgment by Stefan Lochner (1435)


Sheila Talton warns that U.S. hospitals face doom unless they become more agile in providing clinical care. She is president and CEO of Gray Matter Analytics and on the boards of companies and nonprofits, including Deere & Co, Wintrust Financial Corp. and Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital Foundation.

She writes in Med Page Today:

“Until now, most hospitals have tried to consolidate to achieve economies of scale — think of HCA and Tenet’s advances, or Mayo Clinic and Partners Healthcare, which have been echoed in numerous regional markets. Or they have outsourced non-medical operations like food service, parking lots and maintenance. But this does little to make them more agile in their core business of clinical care. That is where hospitals should be obsessively and narrowly focused.

“Hospital executives should constantly be asking how their medical staff can best care for patients, and then make investments and forge partnerships that make that possible. That does not mean hiring an in-house team to design a new cafeteria or re-arranging other deck chairs. It means having an innovative and well-equipped medical staff with a clear mission, and a network of outside companies taking care of everything else and helping them achieve it, making everything else aligned with the care. That’s not just outside partners who can do the work for less, it’s outside partners who can help them do it better and faster and make the patient experience and patient outcomes better. We’re not there.”

To read her essay, please hit this link.

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