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The Search for The Elusively Perfect Hospital CEO Today-El Camino Hospital Board Using Executive Search-Current CEO Contract Wil

Posted May 01 2011 1:23pm
This is interesting to see today as in the last 6 months to a year I am starting to see a bit of a revolving door with hospital CEOs, some had have had problems outside of running a hospital but now it appears that the search for the “great white hope” seems to be working it’s way over on to this frontier.  El Camino Hospital as far as their use for technology, advanced genomics and so forth is clearly so far ahead of many others in the US and I have written a few times about how they use technology.  They are like the “role model” hospital in that respect and they do some really neat stuff, not to mention the lives they save and treatments they offer with image some unique clinical trials and treatments. 
El Camino Hospital Offers New Treatment for Severe Asthma–Bronchial Thermoplasty Approved by FDA in April
In reading this article about the board, of which I know little about other than reading, they are just going to let the current CEO contract expire and feel the need to get help with finding a CEO that can help them reach their goals.  In this case too with the hospital being so technologically advanced, i.e. wireless system running in the walls, I am guessing there’s no CEO candidate going to get in the door here without some technical skills of his/her own, as otherwise they would drown in the technology.  Also noted here too with as much as they have invested in technology and sit in the heart of the Silicon Valley, goals are not being met, in other words there’s so much revenue needed to keep the doors open and staff at current levels.  Now dig a little deeper here with getting good feed back from employees and their goal was 55% happy and they received about half of that.  The board is not citing any reason or wrong doing here either and recognized his efforts of how they came through some really hard times after the 2008 fall out and the opening of two opening in Mountain View and Los Gatos. I wonder is that “miracle CEO” out there"?
El Camino Hospital Will Lay Off 140 Employees - 5 to 6% of The Hospital Workers
These are the folks that take care of the “Silicon Valley” geeks when they get sick.  Maybe a hint here for the all the tech companies to perhaps give some support to your local hospital?   Check out this video from a short while back and see what I mean.  When you get sick there’s more than just social algorithms needed to help you <hint>.
So where does a talented CEO come from that has a strong healthcare ethics background and a strong use and understanding of Health IT?   I guess we can sit in the peanut gallery and watch to see who they are and if in fact such a person does exist today.  Sure there’s a bit of tongue and cheek here but mentioned as this is where everyone is going today to find the sometimes magical leaders that they hope still exist out there.  How can one so far advanced hospital in the Silicon Valley with all the talent they hold in their back yard pursue this effort I wonder? 
The geeks are all over making bucks with social network algorithms and if there were perhaps enough image interested in the healthcare sector, maybe the board wouldn’t have to be taking this direction of finding the ultimately talented  CEO
Something else to make note of too is that they are searching for a CFO and have been since May of 2010 with an interim replacement who just stepped down.  Let me tell you the demands of such positions are high and folks are demanding “winner” results here and it’s getting to be slim picking out there to find not only the talent with Health IT, but also the one who has good public and patient relations in check, a tough balance.  Right now an interim CFO was hired from Kaiser Permanente to fill in, so see something matching up here with where they found talent?  We all know that Kaiser Permanente stands out in the field of Health IT and has worked very hard to unite both the patient and doctor experience with combining both where many are still scratching their heads. I look at is this way too in the fact that the board says we need help and can’t do this task alone and risk making a decision that will not work.  Not too long ago too I wrote about CIO burn out and that’s happening all over the US with demands and expectations that are above and beyond what some can physically do with budgets and technology.  I received some fan mail on this topic saying “thanks” for noticing. 

The folks usually setting these requirements from what I post and read in the news are usually the “non participants” today and fail to use a lot of their own consumer Health IT technologies and then are easily swayed by someone’s presentation quoting a long stream of algorithms from an “expert or consultant” telling them it can be done, again most of it “proof of concept” and when the plans go into action in some areas the concept fails to implement correctly and then it seems “witch hunts” of some sort begin as someone has to be the fall guy and justification for a new person or process begins.  This is all over today and it’s the process used at time to kind of blame shift with expectations that are perhaps a little over the realistic side. The news makes this complicated too a we all compare technologies and the social networks as an example, are touted as the everything and anything world of today, and they are not.
When I get sick a social network algorithm is not going to help me, is the healthcare system and good doctors and hospitals that are neededSomehow we get distracted with all of this and lose out sense of balance.  I have done some consulting over the years and I had one hospital with a CEO that used to “run for the hills” when I came in to suggest and worked with them, executive staff knew what was going on but his fear of technology literally put so many restrictions out there that so many left in frustration so we have a few of those out there too.  I used to laugh a bit at this is I never thought I had such power of fear when I was only there to help move things forward and do what the other executives brought me in to do. 
“The facility takes full advantage of new technologies, ranging from a wall-to-wall wireless network, to patient beds with built-in translators for 22 languages, to robots that move around the hospital carrying medical supplies and patient meals. Robotic devices help doctors perform surgeries and electronic lifts help get patients into beds safely.”
So in summary I think with all the budget talks and search for a new CEO and meeting goals, it’s fair to ask where image are all the investors, venture capitalists and folks with all the big bucks up there when it comes time to supporting your local hospital?  We all fall sick and have health problems and one day you or someone you know is going to need them.  Also worth noting is the hospital is in the black again due to some changes and so forth, so on the other side of the coin here too is this maybe looking at how much profit they want to make too and drive more, and  more importantly, is this sustainable  as a business model and for how long?
The hospital is of course on schedule to work to meet all the government requirements (there’s a lot of this going on too for all hospitals that takes time and algorithmic planning) for safe patient care, meaningful use and to become an ACO.  Today things are a bit fragile out there and confusing too with some of the somewhat unrealistic goals to meet as some of those goals are also created by “non participants” too and we keep seeing those models adjusted all the time as some are just flat out of reach when applied beyond a “proof of concept” and where does this leave everyone else in the game? 
Is this an elusive butterfly out there trying to find this one “perfect CEO” and how do they fit every bit of this into the game plan at once as just missing one area of the compliance issues today ends a hospital right up front in the news as “failing” as some measure and then the distorted view of the news then carries on further to the public who read this stuff, I know because I’m a consumer and read the same stuff out there.   BD
As El Camino Hospital prepares to celebrate its 50th birthday next month and continues its search for a new CEO to replace Ken Graham, the board of directors voted at its March 19 meeting to ease those transitions by assigning new leadership for the board.
Normally scheduled for July in the new fiscal year, the board voted to appoint John Zoglin as chairman, replacing Wesley Alles. Other new officers are directors Uwe Kladde, vice chairman, and Dr. Patricia Einarson, secretary-treasurer.
Zoglin and Einarson will oversee the executive-officer search as sole members of the CEO search committee, which appointed the firm Russell Reynolds last month to conduct a national search for a new hospital leader. Without citing specific reason, the board voted 3-2 in February not to renew Graham’s contract, which expires in June.
“Overall, the hospital is not quite achieving its volume objectives year-to-date because of lingering recession effects, but there are positive signs of volume improvements across the major service lines,” he said in a March report.
In a corporate scorecard measuring quality, finances, growth and employees in the second fiscal-year quarter, October-December 2010, the orthopedics, urology, cyberknife and infusion center departments surpassed their goals.
In the scorecard’s final metric – employees rating El Camino Hospital as a place to work – 25.3 percent of its employees gave it a thumbs-up. The goal was 55.1 percent.
Los Altos Town Crier - El Camino Hospital board names firm for CEO search


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