Culture and strategy often are regarded as "soft" elements of organizational leadership, yet nothing is more vital. An incorrect strategy or resistant culture often become discernible only when an organization is on the rocks. How can leaders inculcate the right strategy and culture in their organizations? An axiom holds that "culture eats strategy," which is a barrier to enacting change in a changing healthcare industry. Strategy is about setting priorities and allocating resources. As resources tighten, priorities for most healthcare organizations today are...

Healthcare is in a state of upheaval. Nowhere is this more evident than in treasury management, where the ability of a health system to be paid for its work can be jeopardized thanks to a number of initiatives that threaten to slow or halt payment—from ICD-10 to new commercial payment models to the need to effectively integrate hospital and physician practice billing and collection. At the same time, new points of revenue collection are opening up. Health systems are investing millions for better patient accounting systems. But integration between IT systems that...

Consolidation in healthcare has been the trend for many years, and it shows no sign of abating as provider organizations look to redesign care delivery models and prepare for the shift toward population health management and value-based purchasing. For those institutions that have already undertaken an acquisition, many challenges exist, including merging IT infrastructures, blending different organizational cultures, and balancing local versus corporate control. With so much at stake during the transition process, senior leaders have to set and execute the right...

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Although healthcare-acquired infections have received wide spread attention from hospitals, healthcare associations, and regulators, they remain a serious patient care issue and an avoidable high expense. The 2010 goal set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to decrease HAIs by 40% by 2013—which would result in 1.8 million fewer injuries to patients—was not met. Starting October 1, 2014, hospitals with the highest rates of preventable HAIs will be penalized 1%, adding to existing federal penalties. Hospitals and health systems can invest in...

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