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Optimal healing environment encourages community wellness

November 6th, 2014

by Scott Kashman

This past week, my hospital broke ground on our Pathway to Discovery. We continue to transform our hospital beyond a place for the sick.

We are creating a model health and wellness campus, serving our community when they are sick and providing a place for them to stay healthy throughout the year. The campus is open to everyone.

The key to this plan is knowing you have to wait until you build a new hospital or get major capital dollars. It's not an all or nothing option. The fact is the majority of our health systems will not have the luxury to create new buildings and campuses. When you do, savor those times. You have the influence to make the changes now.

Our journey over the past few years led to many positive changes without losing site of the need to go even deeper into our organization, providing a more meaningful culture and experience.

=> Read more!

Managers: Set clear expectations to bolster efficiency among healthcare team

October 2nd, 2014

by Scott Kashman

Why do people fear failure in business? I mean, what's the worst they could happen? You get fired.

It was around 1999 when my boss Sue called me into her office. Someone brought a concern to her and she wanted me to know. She let me know there were a few people in my department who felt I was out to get them. These were all employees who were out on a performance improvement plan for their work. She was aware of these plans. We spoke some more and she saw I was clearly shaken up. Here I was, holding people accountable, staying focused on our organizations goals, my intentions in the right place and wham--I was suddenly the bad guy.

My boss provided a good lesson: She asked if I was out to get these employees and I immediately said no. She asked if she's ever accused me or expressed concern that I wasn't treating people fairly while holding the department team accountable. I said no.

She said, what's the worst thing that could happen to you? I shared the fact that she could fire me. She agreed and went on to ask, "Don't you think you would have some warning if this was going to happen, or if I had concern with your performance?" Yes, that certainly made sense.

=> Read more!

Small hospital changes can make big healthcare impact

August 21st, 2014

by Scott Kashman

In April 2011, President Obama discussed his plan to curb the growth of healthcare costs.

The framework called for $340 billion in cuts over 10 years and $480 billion by 2023 (including the proposals already included in the president's budget). Over the subsequent decade, the president's proposal will save more than $1 trillion by further bending the cost curve, doubling the savings from the Affordable Care Act. That plan called for increasing the amount of uninsured by 50 million people.

Throughout my career, one thing remained constant: Our evolving and transforming healthcare industry. We could get ourselves really frustrated if we chase every headline. So the question is, what can you do to influence your organization's destiny?

=> Read more!

Healthcare lessons from Captain Carmine Marceno

July 10th, 2014

by Scott Kashman

In a prior blog, I asked what our obligation to role model healthier living is in our respective health systems. Not a right or wrong answer, just a philosophical approach.

This week, an 89-year-old women and the sister of a 10 year old who is currently going through cancer treatment approached me. They were surprised we do not focus more on nutrition across our nation's healthcare system. We think it is wide known "food is medicine;" however when it comes down to it, they felt hospitals and care providers focused more on pills and diagnostic testing than food's impact on their health.

I have an upcoming meeting with some of our key managers and physicians to focus on--you guessed it-- nutrition. As a management team, we want to know how we could help practice with nutrition education. Some challenges include their time constraints, our payment system and the provider and patients' interest in learning more. One physician shared with me that he would love to focus more on nutrition and has many patients who simply just want the quick fix--a pill. After all, that's what we have essentially taught society: There is a pill for everything. And while the pendulum seems to be slowly swinging back, we have a long ways to go towards a balanced nutrition discussion and integration.

=> Read more!

Healthy eating at hospitals: What's our obligation?

June 5th, 2014

by Scott Kashman and Larry Altier

Here's our simple question. Forget for a moment your own personal beliefs on whether you think we should eat healthier as a society. As healthcare leaders, do you think it's our obligation to offer healthier options in our healthcare organizations?

In September 2013, a bombshell report from Credit Suisse's Research Institute brought into sharp focus the staggering health consequences of sugar on the health of Americans. The group revealed that approximately 30 percent to 40 percent of healthcare expenditures in the United States help address issues that are closely tied to the excess consumption of sugar.

The figures suggest our national addiction to sugar runs us an incredible $1 trillion in healthcare costs each year. The Credit Suisse report highlighted several health conditions, including coronary heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which numerous studies have linked to excessive sugar intake. ("Bitter Truth About Sugar")

Here's a suggested approach for your consideration and feedback. Focus on the following five areas: Nutrition science, access, policy, price and education.

=> Read more!

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