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Managing Organizational Risk: Ways to Keep Your Hospital Safe

In this era of electronic data, we’ve come to expect that personal information stored electronically will remain private, accessible only on a “need-to-know” basis to those you identify. But what happens when organizational data becomes available to others as a result of cyber attacks? As an industry, hospitals face particular challenges.

In fact, health care organizations top the list of the most cyber-attacked industries, followed by manufacturing, financial services and the government. Data breaches place private patient data at risk, and HIPAA standards and compliance audits don’t adequately address security...


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Executive Recruitment for Interim Management: Easing the Transition

Managing organizational change presents extraordinary challenges, particularly when the change involves replacing a chief executive officer following their departure. For smaller community hospitals in transition, interim leaders can help fill this gap. An interim executive may be someone close to retirement, a leader seeking a different work-life balance, or an experienced, skilled executive unable to relocate for a permanent role where travel is an option.

An interim can devote time and attention to their role alleviating work overloads on others, bring objectivity to a new assignment through an unbiased perspective,...


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Physician Engagement Strategies: The Role of Physician Liaisons

Physicians say that “feeling engaged” with a health care organization is crucial to job satisfaction, a finding documented consistently in survey research. And in a time of physician shortages and competition between hospitals and health systems to attract top physician talent, engagement can ultimately affect a doctor’s decision to stay in their current position or seek a new one.

Improved participation and buy-in among physicians can generate inpatient and outpatient referrals and help bolster the hospital’s image as a community-centered, leading-edge provider. When you engage physicians as partners, both parties...


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Board Communication, Teamwork, Spell Success at Yoakum Community Hospital

Leveraging Resources for Change

When I joined the Yoakum Community Hospital team in 2006, one of the biggest hurdles I faced was improving board-management relationships. I realized that addressing this challenge would be essential to paving the way for a better, more secure financial and operational future for the hospital and community. Elorine Sitka, Yoakum Board Trustee and Chair, shared this vision, and together, we turned ideas into reality.

As a 25-bed critical access hospital in rural Yoakum, Texas, it became apparent that trustees had not been receiving all the...


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Staffing and Productivity: Tips for Success

Hospital financial performance improvement seems relatively simple – it’s driven by decreasing costs and increasing revenue. In reality it’s quite complicated to optimize these factors while keeping quality care top of mind. One of the biggest challenges for hospitals is managing staff productivity, which means maintaining the right number and mix of clinical staff based on patient diagnoses and volume. Optimizing productivity is critically important because the cost of labor is the greatest expense for a hospital.

In our experience, almost every hospital has some room to improve staffing productivity....


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Best Practices for Effective Physician On-Boarding

You’ve successfully recruited the physician you need to serve your community. What comes next? The hiring process is just the first step in retaining these professionals you have worked so hard to recruit. Equally important is physician on-boarding — the process of familiarizing and orienting physicians to a new healthcare facility or practice, and to the culture of your organization. On-boarding introduces new physicians to the community, integrates them into the medical staff, helps them establish their practice and achieve a firm financial foundation in the first year.

The case...

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Building Successful Hospital-Board Relationships

Community-based hospitals put the “care” in healthcare, and meaningful hospital-Board partnerships based on trust and mutual goals drive this mission. Board members make important decisions to serve the community , and help develop strategies to ensure the hospital’s long-term sustainability.

Here are some best practice tips for positive, productive Board-CEO relationships.

Develop a Trustee recruitment and retention process. Recruiting and retaining Trustees is too important to be left up to chance. In fact, “retention” begins in the recruitment phase and never ends. Initial orientation for new Board members should...

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Six Months In: Preparation Eased Community Hospital Transition to ICD-10

October 1, 2015, was a much-anticipated day for the U.S. healthcare system. It was the final compliance date for the shift from ICD-9 to ICD-10, a set of codes used to report diagnoses and inpatient procedures to identify health trends and track morbidity and mortality. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) characterized the change as “more than an update, a leap in how we define care.”

Physicians, hospitals and health insurance companies rely on these codes for diagnosing patients and billing for services. ICD-9 had been used since 1979...


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Three Steps to Help Hospitals

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Three Steps to Help Rural Hospitals Overcome Financial Distress

An array of issues – from increasing charity care, bad debt and declining reimbursement rates to negative profit margins – create financial distress for rural hospitals. Despite today’s challenging operating environment, many rural hospitals across the country are using a practical approach to grow revenues and control costs.

Step 1: AWARENESS

Know the signs and symptoms of declining financial health

How does a hospital reach the point of “no return” where closure becomes inevitable? Were there warning signs along the way? Were they missed? Would the outcome have been...


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