ClickCare Café

Can Doctors Run Hospitals Better than CEOs?

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Wed, Nov 13, 2013 @ 08:58 AM

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The medical collaboration that we champion with ClickCare is based on a simple concept: everyone in healthcare has different strengths, and we all do better when we work together. Every provider plays a role, whether that provider is a hospital administrator, nurse, doctor, or aide.

So we were intrigued by a recent New York Times article asking, "Should hospitals be run by doctors?" 

The article addresses whether hospital CEOs with a medical background have better results than hospital CEOs without a medical background. The answer is a bit ambiguous. Only 3.6% of hospitals are run by physician administrators. And new research by the Social Science & Medicine journal showed that hospital quality scores were about 25% higher when doctors ran the hospital. That said, that's not a proven causal relationship... and "quality scores" may not be the most precise measurement of success.

The tone of the article, and the implied competition between physicians and administrators, got us thinking. As pressure increases to drop costs and perform -- whether in terms of length of stay, readmissions, outcomes, or something else -- there is a temptation to play the blame game. We've all been guilty of it -- at some point, everyone has blamed everyone else. And there is something in the tone of this article that tries to single out hospital administrators as the scapegoat of the week. 

If there is anything that our work in telemedicine and medical collaboration has taught us, it's that blame and competition are never helpful. With every case we see, we notice that when medical providers just collaborate in service of the patient, everyone has a better outcome than they would have otherwise. We believe the question is not so much whether doctors can run hospitals better than CEOs, but rather how we can all run our hospitals and practices better -- together. 


Click below for our "field guide" to medical collaboration -- healthcare and beyond:

Download Quick Guide Medical Collaboration



Tags: medical collaboration, collaboration, telemedicine solutions, collaboration leadership

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