Reshapping a large hospital

Hospital Z is a 380 inpatient beds with 110 outpatient beds. It was established in 1920 and this Institution while private  is not for profit. This institution has a strong national visibility . It is located in a leading European city but it is facing a major challenge to define its future. The current CEO has another 20 months to go before he is legally forced to step down (by law his mandate will expire in 2020) . The Hospital is facing a crisis  which encompasses:

  1. lack of an inspirational medical and scientific vision for the upcoming years
  2. CEO and its executive team are more and more disconnected from the medical and research community
  3. no real forum to debate key strategic choices, decisions are top down and rarely discussed with department chairs and research heads
  4. relationship with the affiliated medical school is deteriorating
  5. the annual deficit is increasing every year (9 million in 2016, 24 million in 2017 for a global income of 550)
  6. the moral is low among many of the 6000 employees as they can sense that there is no clear strategic vision and multiple tensions at the top
  7. hospital is now loosing key opinion leaders to the competition

You are considering to apply for the position of CEO of this prestigious but now struggling Institution.

What are the key elements you should consider in advance to transform this hospital, if its board of directors appoints you as the new CEO in 20 months?


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Participant comments on Reshapping a large hospital

  1. The first thing I would want to do is do a listening tour and meet with the board, the medical and research community, department chairs, research heads, and the affiliated medical school.
    This institution sounds like it is positioned for a turnaround, and it is well recognized and is in a good location, but needs someone to lead it to the future. It can be hard to lead into the future without knowing what different stakeholders view as the future, so listening would be key.

    Another component would be to ensure that you have the right team in place to execute on the vision, once it is established. If the CEO and the executive team are disconnected and morale is low, those would be things that need to change, and you would need new leaders in place to demonstrate that change.

  2. 1. Offer yourself as a CEO that will place the patient (and the patient alone) at the center of the organization. If you can convince your physician peers that the patient is your North Star, you will get enough of them to support you that you will have a mandate to make some difficult decisions.

    2. Hire a really good CFO/COO team to clean up the organization and provide you with the resources needed to create the patient centered medical center your citizens deserve.

  3. This remind me other organizations as well …

    … there will be no success without involvement of the key stakeholders as Iwilt said.
    So start outside of your organization first to get some idea from those in charge for selecting the new CEO.
    Those people will decide if your idea/strategy about the organization’s future come true or would stay only on the paper.
    Do internal “stocktake” of the major issues to be solved with some priorities, speak to people outside your daily agenda.

    You can’t do all on your own, so start to create the basis for your future executive team and let them to be involved. You might consider to talk to opinion leaders you value, even those, who filed their resignation and leaving the hospital. Some of them would like to stay if they see the light at the end of tunnel.
    If there should be bigger changes and I guess this is exected the image of “urgency status” is needed, so
    Money is not on the first place, but you need them to deliver your promises about bright future of this academic center.
    Reherse and be prepared even for the very first discussions.

    The board will select the person, which is going to secure the future of the organization they like! Think about it.

    Good luck!

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