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Focus 23

Hospital CEOs Continued from page 22

“It’s not enough to go the traditional route of being an accountant to manager of a department, to director and VP. The skill set needed now is one that understands broad performance such as utilization rates and understanding the impact of the hospital within the community,� she says, adding that with system change, it’s important for CEOs to be able to understand what is best for the community rather than what is simply best for the hospital. This type of broader approach to leadership thinking is at the heart of most leadership training. Bluewater’s own formalized leadership training is in its third year and it partnered with Lambton College to launch a Board of Governor’s certificate program for leaders. But future leadership, Denomy offers, should also be understood in the hiring processes at levels below senior executives. “You should be recruiting with the notion that you want to keep them and advance them. Rather than hiring for a single position, consider what’s ahead and what opportunities they could grow into,� she says. Large-and-medium-sized hospitals are more likely to have a robust leadership development system at work, but all hospitals have the opportunity for staff to understand and even participate in the development of care in the community. Sunnybrook’s senior team is part of a number of processes outside the hospital, from Health Links to LHINs to ministry of health projects; it works to find new ways to provide care outside the hospital, explains CEO, Dr. Barry McLellan.

To cultivate system leaders, some hospitals are engaging in important talent development work to identify and build leadership capacity within the system. He sees the next generation of senior leaders not only as assets to the hospital, but as stewards of the health system itself. “They need to be system leaders and spend more time on issues like how best to provide primary care, and how community care can, frankly, prevent people from coming to hospitals and help them to get out of hospitals sooner,� he says. It’s a team-based approach but where the team is beyond the hospital walls so that the skill is not only in partnering, but also in having a lens on the needs of the patients and how a system can deliver that, he explains. While healthcare has some learning to do in the area of leadership development, Sunnybrook stands among those taking matters into its own hands. The hospital’s Leadership Development Institute works with U of T’s Rotman School

Bluewater Health CEO Sue Denomy at an onsite Knowledge Exchange. of Management and York University’s Schulich School to deliver leadership programming for middle and senior managers, and initiatives such as its strategic workforce planning retreat, tackles succession planning and allows managers to discuss emerging leaders and their development. It’s an environment where leadership is seen as a shared resource. “We’re growing talent and we have leaders growing within the organization, but if individuals benefit from our leadership training and go off to work for another hospital in a more senior leadership position, that’s great for the system,� says McLellan. Southlake Regional Health Centre’s president and CEO Dr. Dave Williams holds a similar perspective on the importance of taking a broader view on building leadership capacity because, as he puts it, the big changes in healthcare are going to occur at a system level. “We can support emerging leaders by decreasing the competitive aspect and placing a greater importance on collaboration,� he says. Southlake is one of the six GTA and York Region hospitals that make up The Joint Centres for Transformative Healthcare Innovation, which served to formalize the knowledge sharing in which these hospitals were already engaged. Designed to share innovative ways to improve patient care and increase efficiency, it’s a collaborative unlike any in the province. And it serves as a means for partners to identify talent in various organizations. “If you are developing a leader and they’re good but they don’t have the opportunity to move up, you run the risk that they will find a job elsewhere. In that case, what they’re doing is bringing your organization’s best practices to a new organization. And that’s immensely powerful,� he explains. Williams sees consumer expectation as the next big force of change in healthcare. If the goal of the system is to maintain wellness and meet needs, then leaders have to understand not only how to work with families and patients, but how to work with other providers and institutions to deliver better care. That’s why the notion of building leaders for the system is so important, says Wil-

liams, because it cuts to the heart of the matter. “Not everyone who needs healthcare goes to a hospital.� As a broad approach to system leadership takes root, the OHA’s president and CEO, Anthony Dale, points out that the current hospital leadership has been driving change in a number of ways. “Ontario’s fiscal challenges have generated new ways about thinking about health system transformation, and hospital leaders have been at the centre of this

innovation, driving forward with quality improvements, such as integrated funding models for post-acute care, funding reform and health hubs,� explains Dale. “Thanks to this leadership, hospitals are becoming more efficient and providing better quality H of care for patients.� ■Yvan Marston is a Toronto-based communications writer who has helped to develop several reports on health human resources.


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Profile for Hospital News

Hospital News 2015 November Edition  

Technology in Healthcare, Patient Experience & Hospital Performance Indicators. Special MEDEC Annual Supplement.

Hospital News 2015 November Edition  

Technology in Healthcare, Patient Experience & Hospital Performance Indicators. Special MEDEC Annual Supplement.