Effective Healthcare Leadership During Times of Change


Erkan Akyuz Discusses Leadership and Diagnostic Imaging TrendsAddressing provider-change fatigue. Determining IT investments. Doing more with less. It’s challenging for healthcare leaders to juggle major decisions and daily management tasks while remaining centered on leadership.

In this interview, Erkan Akyuz, president of Imaging & Workflow Solutions (IWS) at McKesson, shares his perspective on leading healthcare organizations in times of change, including navigating challenges, staying agile to pivot directions when necessary, and utilizing diagnostic imaging.

Q: What would you list as some of the top challenges facing healthcare organizations?

A: Our customers face more challenges than ever due to converging priorities such as massive IT investments, provider-change fatigue, pressures to reduce costs and enhanced care coordination across the continuum.

A recent consultant report noted that with ACA cuts and sequestration and reimbursement changes from value-based payment methodologies, there is a renewed focus on reducing operating costs to achieve financial sustainability. Many hospitals and systems, our customers included, will be focusing on reducing duplication, non-clinical staff, and non-core expenditures; streamlining processes; maximizing group purchasing; eliminating waste; and other activities.

Diagnostic imaging – in both radiology and cardiology – faces key challenges and opportunities related to the evolution toward value-based care. Enterprise diagnostic imaging solutions help enable interoperability and data exchange by removing silos of radiology or cardiology information.

Q: What should healthcare executives know about leading their organizations in a time of change?

A:  Delivering high-quality healthcare in a cost-efficient way is the primary objective of redesigning care models and clinically integrating providers. At IWS, we work to build partnerships with customers, help them manage change effectively and help them through challenges such as consolidation.

In a recent Fast Company article, “The 5 Things That Separate True Leaders from Managers,” Barry S. Saltzman writes, “True growth and change must come from a place of understanding, which is why it’s important whenever possible to explain the reasoning behind your actions to your employees. This includes explaining – as much as you are able – major changes or decisions that are influencing new directives and explaining your own perspective, responsibilities, and experiences. It also includes admitting fault, being willing to ask questions, and not being afraid to pivot in light of new information.”

At IWS we leverage small, cross-functional consultative teams that can speak to a complete solution. We understand the value of having a holistic enterprise view to fit customers’ specific operational, financial and clinical settings.

Q: What are some of the best approaches to addressing these challenges?

A: Personally, I try to avoid the temptations of micro management. My style is to empower people, trust them and measure them by outcomes.

Q: How do healthcare organizations stay current with technology while still supporting care improvements and making cost-effective decisions?

A: Organizations whose strategic plans include population health management will be investing in infrastructure elements such as technology, data warehousing, predictive analytics and care models. These investments will help align their financial and clinical incentives. Processes, people and resources must be deployed to achieve quality outcomes in the most cost-effective setting possible.

More organizations are creating and joining accountable care organizations (ACOs) and clinically integrated networks. This expansion will require investments in infrastructure to support new systems and processes of care – the most significant of which will be for information technology to provide real-time access to relevant data in a timely manner.

Read advice from other industry experts when you download the eBook 13 Insights for Conquering Healthcare Challenges in 2015 from the Experts.

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