The leadership need for ‘the Integrator’ is re-shaping traditional CEO and COO roles.
A few decades ago, the role of ‘the Integrator’ in healthcare leadership did not exist – at least not in the form needed today. Unlike roles with new names – CTO, CMIO, CPHMO, etc. - the same titles of CEO or COO may be used for a healthcare system, yet the shapes of these roles bear little resemblance to those with the same titles used in a hospital or other ‘vertical.’
While a hospital administrator/CEO is expected to stay close to the pulse of acute care operations, the system CEO is expected to transcend operations to assure an aerial view/perspective, i.e., to become more visionary and system-focused. The transition from hospital to system requires a view that is less entrenched with how we have run hospitals and more focused on the population served. Despite use of the same title for both roles, it is the difference between being ‘tied down’ and ‘freed up.’
‘Pushing up’ the system CEO role creates space between the maximization of operations in an individual vertical, e.g., hospital, physician practices, and pre- and post-acute services (possibly insurance) and optimizing a system of care for a population. The integration leadership challenge for health systems involves numerous business verticals or silos. But this is only a start: to ‘systemize’ healthcare systems, integration of IT/digital, consumer engagement and culture to a new level are needed. In this space, created between the elevated CEO visionary role and numerous operating entities, is the work to ‘systemize.’Read More