"So much of this work is based on clinical decision-making and evaluating evidence-based medicine protocols," he says. "The model we use where physician leaders, surrounded by administrators, are driving the process is a good model. It's not the only model, but physicians need to lead the clinical decision-making, supported by the administrators and financial people to ensure clinical decisions are sustainable."
Some 45% of CEOs, however, report between 1% and 20% of their senior leadership team is composed of physicians.
Some 54% of CEO respondents say they will fuel growth through outpatient strategies—the most popular answer, followed by starting or increasing promising business lines or facilities, at 49%. Jacobsen suggests that hospitals are beginning to realize that any one strategy is not the best way to fuel long-term growth.
"We are seeing some chipping away at profitability on the outpatient side, but the bigger point is that the future is in looking at the entire system holistically, not just the silos," he says. "We're looking at the entire experience for the patient as opposed to searching for short-term gain."
Another interesting response to the survey revealed that 60% of CEOs said healthcare can't solve its own problems because of "too much self-interest among the different stakeholders."
This response could mean that healthcare CEOs feel they are not in control of what they're being asked to do, and that other industry sectors, from payers to government, aren't really interested in working with them to improve care quality—they just want lower costs.