Fast Evolution Requires a Revolution

December 2013

In a simple scan of any newsletter or report on the healthcare landscape, one theme remains consistent: Change. Our industry continues to evolve with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the accountable health transformation.

As I’ve said before, this is not a time for incumbents, or people who try to “ride it out” while relying on the old model. Now is the time for revolutionaries. Revolutionaries know victory comes only by changing the paradigm, being scrappy, staying open to invention and by leveraging out-of-the-box thinking. Only with a revolution can we truly transform healthcare.

I recently spoke at an event in Longmont, Colo., where business owners and providers came together to discuss the impact of the Affordable Care Act. While there, I shared what I believe are some of our revolutionary requirements:

  • A new vision to improve the health of communities, not just provide acute, temporary care.
  • A commitment to expand coverage and access for all while working to lower the cost of care.
  • A new strategy based on person-centered care – engaging clinicians and other partners who share our values to help redesign the patient experience.
  • Seeing those we serve as empowered persons, not passive “patients.”
  • Redefining value to include evidence-based, holistic services that successfully improve a person’s health, not on outcomes per dollar spent.
  • A shift from care on individual medical campuses to a distributed, connected network of the care continuum.
  • Reorganizing leadership so groups of physicians and medical centers are “co-dependent equals,” executing a strategy that clinically integrates care.
  • New partnerships with experts who can help us build the care continuum, including areas such as home care, long-term care, and more, as well as develop population health management capabilities.
  • Committing to perfect care, not incremental improvement, as a high reliability organization.
  • Leveraging our skills to learn and replicate best practices quickly.
  • A focus on great execution, not more initiatives.

You may conclude that the items above aren’t necessarily revolutionary. We’ve been discussing these ideas for years and indeed some organizations such as Kaiser and Geisinger Health have been recognized as frontrunners in this work.

But, as they say, times change.

We’ve hit the wall, and these initiatives are now requirements – more specifically, imperatives in order to survive and thrive in the new environment. It’s time to focus, engage and move the ball on multiple fronts to make these requirements a reality. So, I’ve coined a new axiom: really fast evolution requires a revolution! Watch us as we make our revolution a reality for the people and communities we serve. 

Michael A. Slubowski, FACHE, FACMPE
President and Chief Executive Officer
SCL Health