There comes a time when the leadership within a hospital needs to be replaced in order to transform the financial viability of a struggling hospital. A change in hospital leadership is often needed to symbolize the need for change and communicate to the community that their civic leaders are committed to preserving their quality of healthcare.
When it comes to change, the one constant across all types of organizations is change is hard and often resisted. It typically takes a catastrophic event to push the staff, middle managers, and many executives to commit to the need for change. Without a catastrophic event, people naturally hold onto what they know and what has worked in the past.
Unfortunately, when a rural or small community hospital is on the verge of financial failure, doing what has always been done will not lead to profitability. Returning a hospital on the verge of bankruptcy to profitability takes a new approach and most importantly commitment from every administrator, nurse, doctor, technician, and partner.
By changing the executive leadership of a hospital, a signal is sent that change has to occur. By establishing that the need for change is inevitable, the incoming leadership is provided the unique luxury of having buy-in for new ideas that would typically be resisted. The buy-in from everyone within the hospital is essential for enacting any strategy for rebuilding profitability.
In addition, the change of leadership signals to the community that civil leadership is committed to maintaining the community’s access to care. It also signals that the financial situation is dire. Both are needed to gain the buy-in and support of the community, which is essential, as most successful turnarounds require an infusion of cash that is often funded by taxpayer initiatives.
Although a change in leadership is an effective tool for obtaining organizational and community buy-in, it is not something that can be done frequently. A rotating carousel of executive leadership can have the reverse effect and destroy moral and confidence that the hospital can be saved.
A change in leadership needs to be well planned and the new incoming leadership team selected carefully.
At NewLight Healthcare, we recognize the significance of a change in executive leadership and have a proven and experienced stable of executives capable of stepping in and providing the transformational leadership struggling rural and small community hospitals need to return to profitability.