Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive

5 Skills Every Executive Must Have

Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive

5 Skills Every Executive Must Have

Article excerpt

Sweeping changes in behavioral healthcare have caused many organizations to make fundamental adjustments in the way they operate. CEOs are charged with leading the new direction and often need to react quickly to changing circumstances.

According to the PriceWaterhouseCoopers 19th Annual CEO Survey released in 2016, 66% of healthcare CEOs are making significant changes in how they leverage technology, including using social media, online reporting and data analytics to communicate with payers, patients and other stakeholders. The survey also found that healthcare CEOs thought regulation (84%) and the availability of key skills (74%) were top risks within the industry. Being able to juggle short term stability with long term growth are skills that behavioral healthcare CEOs need to continually develop, says Gary Humble, executive director of Pinnacle Partners in Cleveland, Ohio.

"We need to be like an old time captain of a ship," Humble says. "We have to keep one eye on the horizon and one hand on the wheel. We have to look at the big picture."

He says the infrastructure of the organization-the clinical and administrative pieces-must be in unison.

To satisfy the needs of multiple stakeholders, behavioral healthcare CEOs must be able to adapt organizational values in a balanced way.

1 Embrace technology

An increased emphasis on technology in the behavioral healthcare setting is a benefit to high-level administration, staff, patients and their caregivers, says Paul Auchterlonie, CEO of Decision Point Center, which has three locations in Arizona.

"We are a more technologically-dependent culture, but are old school about it when it comes to treatment," he says. "There are still a lot of places that don't allow cell phones, and it adds to patients feeling isolated."

Decision Point allows patients to Skype with their families at night, Auchterlonie says, adding that as more millennial enter treatment facilities, communicating with them digitally will have to become the norm.

Jim Kane, CEO of Summit Behavioral Health, says that prioritizing digital solutions and deciding where they fit has to come from the C-suite.

"There is a wealth and almost overwhelming amount of information online, and weeding through this data can be a fulltime job unto itself " Kane says.

His facility uses smart phone recovery apps and electronic incident reports based on evidence-based treatment modalities. He says that he personally reviews trends in healthcare innovation and encourages his staff to learn more about how technology can streamline processes.

"All of these programs came from review of current literature, partnering with pioneering healthcare technology organizations, attending webinar or in-person educational programming, web-based searches and reviews of other organizations' programming and outcome data," Kane says.

2 Encourage program mm innovation

Revamping behavioral healthcare programming for patients is critical in order for treatment centers to attract patients outside of direct referral sources, Humble says. Developing expertise in new treatment modalities that address the changing needs of patients will help with customizing treatment, he says.

"The idea of hanging on to what's tried and true in behavioral healthcare isn't effective. What's true for some may not be true for others. We have to think of what it means to meet the needs of the patients and not just the organization," Humble says.

Auchterlonie says that his treatment center has developed two-week programming as a trial period for patients. From there, patients and their caregivers can decide on a course of treatment that varies in length, program content, and inpatient/ outpatient settings. …

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