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One of the core strengths of interim senior management staffing in health care is the transmission of best-practice expertise. Interim leaders can move across a wide spectrum of patient care in a relatively short period of time. Innovations that achieve dramatic improvements in patient safety deserve the fast and wide distribution that program-dedicated interim managers can provide.

Dedicated Management Strategy

In order for technological and societal changes to integrate with hospital and clinical cultures, a dedicated management strategy has to deal with the details of implementation. The process of practicing and learning what, why, and how new systems of treatment and wellness deliver superior patient outcomes is often complex, even contradictory, compared to established practice.

A high level of focus and targeted energy is required to quickly shift fundamental attitudes and values. It often requires a specialist who can launch and guide a mission with deep conviction and sense of explicit purpose. This degree of practical expertise comes from experience working with teams, going through the ‘forming–storming–norming–performing’ of classic group dynamics. It comes from ability to recognize and draw out the value of local differences as well as universal principles.

And it works on a premise that lies at the very heart of health care operations. “It’s about setting behavioral expectations on how we expect our staff, physicians and leaders to behave and be educated,” said Charles Stokes, COO of Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System.

Zero Patient Harm

“We should not be willing to settle for anything less than zero patient harm,” emphasizes Stokes. Memorial Hermann’s Certified Zero Award, which honors its hospitals that go a year or longer with no adverse patient safety events, has been awarded more than 100 times since its creation in 2011.

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This is one more reason why the demand and the rewards for interim healthcare management professionals just keep on rising.

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