Governance Practices in an Era of Healthcare Transformation: Achieving a Successful Turnaround

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Abstract

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This article illustrates the successful application of principles established by the American Hospital Association (AHA) to foster hospital transformations (AHA Center for Healthcare Governance, 2012). We examined a small community hospital’s successful transition from one emergency care center (ECC) physician group to another and the methods by which significant improvements in outcomes were achieved. The foundation of this transformation included a generative governance style at the board level, a shared governance model at the employee level, a renewed sense of employee and physician engagement, and a sense of individual accountability. Outcomes included improved communication, a more unified vision throughout the ECC (which led to improved efficiency and accountability among staff), improved metrics, and a positive impact on the community’s perception of care. Press Ganey scores and ECC operational metrics demonstrated significant increases in patient satisfaction and decreases in wait times for seven operational metrics. These data serve as a proxy for the transformation’s success. Structured interviews revealed an increase in employee satisfaction associated with the transition. The positive outcomes demonstrate the importance of the AHA-articulated governance principles. The AHA recommendations for a superior value-based care model closely align with the methods illustrated through Bristol Hospital’s successful transformation. Other institutions can apply the lessons from this case study to drive positive change and improve patient care.

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