Senior Leadership

  • Like Having a Baby

    4/2/2014 | Tom Klopack

    parents-babyMy first child was a whirlwind of excitement, anticipation and preparation.  Classes, clothes, paraphernalia, furniture, house modifications, you name it we did it. That nine months flew by and we went to the hospital with a suitcase stuffed full of recommended items including at least a pound of hard candy in case mouths became dry.  It was an exciting time!

    Then, within 24 hours, we were politely informed it was time to go home and, by the way, don’t forget the baby. What a letdown. What an adjustment! The anticipation and preparation, the labor process, all of it was over. The real work, raising a human being (a good human being), was just beginning.  Over the months and years of changes, evolving demands, shifting priorities, and a lot of work, we accomplished this. We raised three decent human beings. Continue reading

  • More Patients Will Look at Online Hospital Reviews

    3/5/2014 | Tom Klopack

    patients-researchIt may seem like conversations around HCAHPS has become a broken record. The importance of these scores and other patient satisfaction results has not faded. Unfortunately, some hospitals don’t understand or acknowledge the impact these scores can have on their bottom line.  This is yet another reason that hospitals need to think about what’s next. And what is next, is patients looking up hospitals and checking out reviews – just like they do now with restaurants, hotels, salons, car repair shops and mechanics, smart phones, and more.

    Hospitals are well-positioned to think about and plan for this future today. Patients are reporting their experiences and the results are easily available on the Internet. Hospitals that have ignored the inevitable or are still waiting to see what was going to happen in the courts, now need to play catch-up in order to be competitive and sustain operations. This is especially important for hospitals in highly competitive markets. Continue reading

  • Healthcare’s Biggest Changes of 2013

    12/18/2013 | Tom Klopack

    healthcare-costsAs 2013 quickly winds down to a close, aside from wondering where the time went, those of us working in healthcare can look at this year as one of significant changes — some that seemed surprising at the time. For me, there were some big “aha” moments in 2013 and I thought I would share several of them with you.

    • I watched a debate among top ranking Republican and Democratic speakers on the Affordable Care Act. The entire discussion was around the tactics of the roll out, much like the coverage on major news networks. The big “Aha” moment for me was at the same meeting when the CEO of a major IDN was answering questions about clinicians’ acceptance of the major — read unprecedented — changes he was making in operations around efficiency and rationalization. His response was the following: “At first the reaction was that this would go away. Then the Supreme Court reaffirmed it, multiple votes to repeal it were unsuccessful and Obama was re-elected. Our people now believe it is here to stay and we have to change.” Continue reading

  • The Case Against Patient Engagement

    10/30/2013 | Tom Klopack

    patient-family-engagementThis is a time of great change and challenge for hospitals and clinicians. When major change happens in industries, particularly industries like healthcare that have been stable for many years, each day, week, and month can leave you feeling claustrophobic as the restrictions, the budgets, and the rules get tighter leaving you less and less room to maneuver.

    It can be difficult to understand what to do to break into the clear and start to operate in a different mode.

    Patient engagement is one path leading to the clear. How to make it happen and what to use to facilitate patient engagement can be daunting questions to address while undergoing major shifts. It can be easy, and tempting, to ignore it and work on other programs. But getting the patient and the patient’s family on the side of the healthcare provider—getting their attention and help—leverages a whole new set of players to get and keep patients healthy. Continue reading

  • Addressing HCAHPS: How to make Hourly Rounding at Night More Effective

    7/24/2013 | Tom Klopack

    Hourly Rounding NurseThe move to increase rounding at hospitals is a trend in the right  direction. More direct nurse time with the patient and family is helpful in healing and education. It can also be a great patient satisfier. It is important though that nurse-patient time is quality time. This generally means three things:

    1. The nurse has sufficient time to spend in the patient room answering questions and really interacting in a personal manner. In order for this to occur, nurses must be free from repetitive low value-add tasks to spend more meaningful time in the patient room.
    2. The nurse can be forewarned of patient issues and should come prepared to address them in a well thought out manner. This means that they should have access to patient information and concerns that will enable them to make the time they have with each patient of the highest value. This isn’t necessarily EHR records or medical information. This is more patient questions about what is going on in the hospital and about their concerns.
    3. The nurse is not overwhelmed with schedule-driven, low-quality “touching base” interactions. Think of the repetitive “Goodbye” you get from the flight attendant when leaving a plane. That is impersonal, repetitive and low quality. Continue reading