Leadership, Culture, Governance


Dan Burton
Leslie Falk
Linda Llewelyn

Diversity in the Workplace: A Principle-Driven Approach to Broadening the Talent Pool

Improving diversity and inclusivity in healthcare, and any industry, is more than just the right thing to do: it’s an intelligent business decision with impacts on productivity, sales, and innovation.
Organizations committed to addressing the lack of diversity and inclusivity in healthcare should start by thinking about the principles and values that underlie their cultures. At Health Catalyst, every diversity initiative is founded in one of the core principles that motivates our work and is embodied by every team member:


But turning the tide on monumental challenges, like closing the gender gap in technology (women hold less than 26 percent of U.S. technology jobs), requires more than a return to values; it requires initiatives, from equitable hiring practices to mentorship programs, that reflect an understanding of the diverse populations in the talent pool.

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KimSu Marder

Saving Lives: Effective Healthcare Communication Empowers Care Management

With an estimated 80 percent of medical errors resulting from miscommunication among healthcare teams, organizations can significantly improve outcomes with better communication. A communication methodology outlines the essential information clinicians need to share, giving care teams the knowledge they need, when they need it, to make informed treatment decisions.
One communication toolkit, SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation), defines the essential information clinicians must share when they hand off patient care from the inpatient to the ambulatory setting:

S (situation): The patient’s current situation.
B (background): Information about the current situation.
A (assessment): Assessment of the situation and background and potential treatment options.
R (recommendation): Recommended action.

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David Grauer

Communication in Healthcare Culture: Eight Steps to Uphold Outcomes Improvement

Healthcare leaders looking to establish and sustain a culture of large-scale outcomes improvement must communicate their health system’s values, beliefs, and norms throughout the entire organization. Effective communication spreads understanding of outcomes improvement, ensuring broad engagement and ongoing progress toward shared goals.
An eight-step strategy describes essential elements of organizational outcomes improvement communication plan:

Include a communications specialist on the outcomes improvement leadership team.
 Analyze the stakeholders early and often.
Craft the central message around shared values.
Be a constant champion.
Commit to regular times and mechanisms for communication.
Make sure communication flows both ways.
Be transparent.
Be creative.

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Stephen Hess

Healthcare Culture: Choosing a Systems-Based Approach Over Punishment and Reward

It’s often human nature to look for a culprit or hero when there’s a setback or success. In healthcare, however, this punishment-and-reward formula puts patient outcomes at risk, as it doesn’t consider all factors that contribute to a result and lead to a better process.
The key to failure or success is most likely a chain of events, and not an individual action. To avoid the same mistake again or build on good practices, healthcare leaders must look at the system, not the individual or their actions. Effective improvement leadership will standby a systems approach, even under the most challenging circumstances.

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Kyle Salyers

Investing in Partnerships for Outcomes Improvement

Many healthcare organizations invest for financial, strategic, and operational reasons. These investments cover a broad spectrum of opportunities, from medical technology, to delivery models, to promising new research. Health Catalyst follows these investment avenues, building long-term relationships, and connecting with its partners in three ways:

As owners.
As innovators.
As customers.

The sole focus of these investments and partnerships is outcomes improvement—a unique approach in healthcare—supported by the operating principles of ownership, pragmatic innovation, and transparency.
In this first article of a series, Kyle Salyers, Health Catalyst Senior Vice President of Business Development, explores the partnership “flywheel” and the collaborative nature that underscores a successful healthcare investment platform.

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Dorian DiNardo
Justyn Keck

Beyond Healthcare Dashboards: Deeper Decision Support

As access to healthcare data grows, healthcare leaders are using more data to make decisions. Executives and front-line clinicians need a decision-support tool that meets the demands of today’s increasingly data-rich environment. Healthcare dashboards once filled this niche, but no longer keep up with ever-growing data demands. Fortunately, an innovative visual reporting system, Leading Wisely™, picks up where dashboards fall short—enabling faster reporting and customized, self-service capability for comprehensive data-driven support.
Leading Wisely’s key next-level features include:

Customization, allowing the individual user to personally tailor measures.
Proactive alerts, prompted by personalized notification settings.
User friendly layout, with easy-to-read highlights that indicate if a measure if moving off course.

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Paul Horstmeier

Leading Wisely: Better Executive Decision Support

The next step in the evolution of executive decision support is here—introducing Leading Wisely. With real-time alerts and customizable reports, healthcare leaders now have access to the actionable insights and meaningful information they need to make strategic decisions. Unlike traditional dashboards or static reports, Leading Wisely helps executives avoid being blindsided, giving them complete control over their data.

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David Grauer
Tom Burton

Outcomes Improvement Governance: A Handbook for Success and Achieving More with Less

For healthcare organizations looking to achieve outcomes improvement goals, effective governance is the most essential must-have. This leadership culture ensures success by enabling health systems to invest in outcomes improvement and allocate resources appropriately toward these goals.
This executive report is an outcomes improvement governance handbook centered on four guiding principles (and associated helpful steps) health systems can follow to achieve effective governance and start achieving more with less:

Stakeholder engagement
Shared understanding

With these four principles, organizations can build a foundation of engagement and focus around the work, where they maximize strengths, and discover and address weaknesses. They establish an improvement methodology, define their goals, and sustain and standardize improvement work.

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Neil Anderson

The Healthcare Outcomes Improvement Engine: The Best Way to Ensure Sustainable, Scalable Change

How do healthcare organizations create a systemwide focus on outcomes improvement? They build a healthcare outcomes improvement engine—a mechanism designed to drive successful and sustainable change.
Creating this outcomes improvement engine requires four critical components:

Engaging executives around outcomes improvement.
Prioritizing opportunities most likely to succeed.
Adequately staffing initiatives.
Communicating success early and often.

Once up and running, multidisciplinary engagement and standardized improvement processes fuel the outcomes improvement engine in its mission to produce sustainable, scalable improvement.

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Mark McCourt

Three Must-Haves for Generating Innovation in Healthcare IT

What most often restricts IT innovation at a healthcare organization? It’s not limitations of the tools for innovation (the data infrastructure) or the workforce, but the organizational culture of the health system. A culture that’s too focused on past failed initiatives and their consequences won’t identify opportunities that lead to new ideas. They likely have the right parts for a great idea, but aren’t enabling those parts for innovation.
Organizations can build and environment that fosters innovation in healthcare IT by operating with three principles:

Give teams the freedom to fail.
Remember the adjacent possible.
Leverage organizational networks.

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Dan LeSueur

Governance in Healthcare: Leadership for Successful Improvement

Successful outcomes improvement in healthcare requires strong leadership to make decisions, allocate resources, and prioritize initiatives. For improvement to succeed and endure, health systems can’t leave any part of leadership to chance. Instead, effective governance requires thoughtful, deliberate development. Otherwise, improvement initiatives stall or fail to launch, as stakeholders debate goals and strategies. To succeed, governance structure must be solid enough to withstand any challenges to improvement initiatives—from resource constraints to skeptics.
Effective governance in healthcare operates with four guiding principles:

Engage the right stakeholders.
Establish a shared understanding of objectives.
Align incentives and rules of engagement.
Practice disciplined prioritization.

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Jeff Selander

Build a Mission-Driven Culture in Healthcare

A mission-driven culture is a must-have in today’s rapidly changing healthcare environment. Culture is a vital component of a successful organization, as it builds an engaged and committed workforce that’s capable of adapting to shifting demands.
Four principles form the basis of a mission-driven culture:

Engage life-long learners and great listeners.
Assume positive intent.
Avoid entitlement.
Aim for long-term commitment.

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Jeff Selander

Employee Wellness: A Combination of Personal Accountability and Corporate Responsibility

A strong employee wellness program is the first step to encouraging better health and creating meaningful, positive change in the lives of employees and their families. A well-designed healthcare insurance plan, a comprehensive wellness program, and creating a culture of personal accountability for wellness can optimize healthcare spending and improve employee health. It can also bolster the understanding and shared accountability for healthcare costs between the employees and the company.

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Patrick Nelli

A Data-Driven Culture: Making Data a Part of Everyday Decision Making

Healthcare organizations are establishing data-driven improvement processes to improve the quality of care at a lower cost. Implementing an analytics infrastructure, clinical content, and deployment processes required to achieve success can be a challenge. Surprisingly, building the technology infrastructure is the relatively easy part. Ensuring clinicians are utilizing the data in every day decision making and creating a data-driven culture is more difficult. Senior leadership engagement is crucial, driving the organization to undergo a purposeful change, and making analytics and improvement everyone’s responsibility.

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