Top of Mind Issues for Today’s Healthcare Leaders

What’s on the minds of today’s healthcare leaders? Benefits and labor costs, future generations of leaders and development plans for those leaders are a few of the issues they face, as Axiom Consulting Partners’ Susanna Mlot, Partner, explains.

I spent a year as an interim CHRO for a large health system – 13,000 team members altogether. Here are some of the questions that Boards are asking and senior leadership is continually grappling with – questions taking on increasing importance.

How do we get our benefits costs under management? Study after study shows that many of the people who work in healthcare are among the unhealthiest people in our workforce because they work such long and varied hours. And that directly contributes to increased healthcare costs for those organizations.

How are we going to get our labor costs under management? Labor optimization is a massively important topic right now, especially when vacancy rates are high. Using agency labor, temporary labor, and contract labor becomes addictive for the organization, and yet, if you’re not keeping an extremely close eye on that mix of captive labor versus temporary and contingent labor, costs quickly can spiral out of control.

A third topic would be: “Where are we getting our next generation of leadership and are we preparing them well? Do we have succession plans in place to bring those people forward? Are we giving them the right kinds of development opportunities? How are we preparing them to lead?”

One of the unique things about healthcare that may be differ from other industries is a focus on the broader landscape: “How are we preparing them to lead, not just in our own organization, but contribute to the field more broadly, and what’s our role in making the entire field of medicine and healthcare better?”

Transcript edited for clarity.

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