— As the U.S. heads back to “normal,” we should never return to the old way health systems were run
by Gary Tamkin, MD
Many of the initiatives adopted by hospitals, regulatory agencies, executives, and care providers in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic upset the status quo of standard rules, regulations, and approaches to care. The benefits of many of these changes can extend far beyond the crisis. With states around the country giving up on their pandemic responses, here are a few management “lessons learned” that hospitals and healthcare systems should keep top of mind.
Meet Regularly As a Leadership Team
Hospitals are large complex organizations that can operate within large silos. In response to the pandemic, hospitals convened “COVID Command Centers.” The executive leadership team and department heads spent most of their days together identifying challenges and creating innovative solutions. Roles were clearly delineated, frequently with reflective vests emboldened with name and title. Problems were identified, priorities were set, teams were organized, and timelines were declared. Similarly, state and county agencies, as well as hospital systems, met regularly online to coordinate resources on a regional scale in an unprecedented fashion.
We as healthcare leaders should continue to meet regularly as a team, addressing problems quickly, prioritizing efforts, and holding each other accountable.
Take Decisive Action to Provide Patients Access to Care
Emergency department and hospital overcrowding have been career-long challenges with few sustainable, effective solutions.