'Talk the language' of clinical and financial teams: 2 CEOs offer leadership advice


Understanding the clinical and financial aspects of your organization, communicating effectively across teams and staying up to date on emerging healthcare trends are among the most important traits for healthcare leaders today.

Two CEOs told Becker's about what they think it takes to succeed as a leader in today's healthcare environment:

Kim Mikes, RN. CEO, Hoag Orthopedic Institute (Irvine, Calif.): I believe that having both a clinical and business background is extremely beneficial in leading a healthcare organization. Being able to look at an issue and make operational and strategic decisions with both a clinical/quality and a financial lens is invaluable. It enables you to "talk the language" of both clinical and financial team members and physicians, garnering credibility and respect. It is also critical to stay informed of healthcare trends and to be able to quickly make changes. Understanding the business at its core allows for rapid execution when needed.  

Ed Hellman, MD. President and Interim CEO, OrthoIndy (Indianapolis): It has to start with an understanding of the entire business environment. As a physician, it's really easy to focus on day-to-day operations and what directly affects our patients and our practices, but in order to lead the organization you need a much more global view of things. I also think that there needs to be an understanding that you can't go it alone. Success is a team sport, so you need to have an open outlook in terms of talking with other groups, facilities and interested parties in the community. You need to have that negotiation ability, as well as the ability to bring teams together, to be successful.

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