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  • Writer's pictureAlan Shoebridge

2023 Becker's Healthcare CEO/CFO takeaways: Trends, challenges and opportunities

I recently attended the Becker's Healthcare CEO/CFO Roundtable Conference for the first time. I was struck by the level of passion and dedication among the attendees. This event was a gathering of some of the top healthcare professionals in the industry, and their shared goal was to improve care for patients, consumers and caregivers.


Changing health care is challenging and slower than any of us want. Yet, the desire and focus to that is there. That was clear from the presentations I attended.


Although it was impossible to capture everything that happened in three days, I’ve put together a day-by-day recap of my favorite insights from the sessions I attended.


I'm excited to share these insights with others who may have missed the conference and to give you some of the week’s highlights.


💻👇 TLDR: Top five inspirations and observations


🎤👇 DAY 1

The conference got off to a great start. A clear theme from the conversations was the need to embrace change. 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐂𝐀𝐒𝐄 𝐅𝐎𝐑 𝐂𝐇𝐀𝐍𝐆𝐄: “We don’t have the capacity to deliver the old model of care. Change must happen.” “There is a huge increase in demand for care happening at exactly the same time we have a rapidly diminishing supply of providers.” “Crisis creates opportunity.” “We need to ask how we’re going to transform ourselves.” “The EHR can’t be responsible for all the innovation and change that healthcare requires.” “Healthcare will fall behind if we try to go it alone with technology and AI. We need to pursue partnerships with companies that do those things well.” “Technology can help with access and affordability, but we have to realize that some populations have limitations when it comes to using technology.” “We need to be thinking about those who don’t have access to technology.” "We must simplify how nurses and doctors deliver care. Up to 40% of time is spent in care coordination and communication that takes away from direct patient care." "The biggest impact on patient experience comes from building goodwill with your staff." “WHAT we do in healthcare won’t change, but HOW we do it will.”


🎤👇 DAY 2

An important – and very positive – theme during this conference has been the focus on taking care of the people who take care of others. Caregivers and employees. Almost all the speakers have spoken about improving internal culture. That's a very good thing.


𝐀𝐍 𝐈𝐍𝐒𝐈𝐃𝐄-𝐎𝐔𝐓 𝐅𝐎𝐂𝐔𝐒:


“Just like we have created patient-focused workstreams, we have to prioritize the creation of employee-focused workstreams as well.”


“If you give your staff what they need, when they need it, they will deliver excellent experiences for patients.”


“By establishing a culture of learning quickly and failing fast, we can make a real impact.”


“Health systems and hospitals need to build cultures that are safe, emotionally supportive and foster innovation.”


“We need to double down on showing employees that we care about their well-being.”


“We’ve got to stop growing just to grow. Bigger isn’t better. Better is better.”


“Future success depends on keeping a deep focus on our workforce.”


🎤👇 DAY 3

𝐀𝐃𝐃𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐒𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐈𝐒𝐒𝐔𝐄𝐒 𝐀𝐍𝐃 𝐎𝐏𝐏𝐎𝐑𝐓𝐔𝐍𝐈𝐓𝐈𝐄𝐒


A standout session for me was the fireside chat featuring Providence COO Erik Wexler and Ochsner CEO Pete November.


These are some snippets from the conversation.


“The imperative to transform how care is delivered is critical to keeping our communities healthy and bringing down the cost of care. Pursuing new care models and partnerships will help improve patient outcomes and provide financial sustainability.”


“Our caregivers need us more than ever to help improve mental wellbeing so we can support those who are at the forefront of caring for patients and their families.”


“As we leverage technology and AI, we can revolutionize health care delivery, with the primary imperative to serve vulnerable populations.”


“Health care is responsible for 8.5% of the country’s carbon footprint. Hospitals and health systems must act now to reduce environmental impacts. This includes reducing emissions from vehicles and boilers, improving systems to reduce gases from clinical equipment, and aggressively eliminating electrical and utility waste.”


“Now is the time to transform how our caregivers work within the immense complexities of everyday life. Focusing on solutions and creating positive change to deliver a better, more equitable future for patients and caregivers is a mandate we all should embrace moving into 2024.”


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There was also an excellent panel discussion on DEI and HEALTH EQUITY.


“Your organization needs to have honest, tough conversations on whether DEI efforts are improving outcomes.”


“We can deliver equitable healthcare with world-class outcomes.”


“If you can’t deliver equitable care, you can’t deliver high quality care.”


“Financial pressures are causing many organizations to re-evaluate DEI needs. That’s a big mistake. DEI efforts are foundational to building health care systems that meet future needs.”


🔮 Looking ahead to 2024

Overall, I came away from the conference with a renewed appreciation for the importance of sharing knowledge and best practices. Those speaking realize that by collaborating and sharing ideas, we can help improve healthcare systems around the country on behalf of our caregivers and patients.


This willingness to collaborate and communicate reflects a shared goal of improving healthcare for all, and it was inspiring to hear about it firsthand.


And it’s not just words – actions are happening. That is critical.


Personally, I’m also so pleased that Providence leaders are at the forefront of building this better future.


I look forward to seeing real progress in 2024!

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