At its annual conference held May 15-17 in Chicago, Becker’s Hospital Review sponsored a presentation by three healthcare executives on the key attributes of successful health systems. The panel was moderated by Chuck Lauer, previous publisher of Modern Healthcare.

During the discussion, four essential themes emerged as the leading attributes of great health systems:

1. Crystal clear visions and missions.
2. Engaged, energetic leaders who are comfortable with ambiguity.
3. Having a “wide lens” when defining who they serve.
4. Board members and executives who aren’t hospital-centric.

On the topic of leadership, the panel pointed to the need for executives to perceive difficult challenges as opportunities for growth and innovation. Raising the issue of “old school” versus “new school” ways of approaching problems, Deborah Proctor, president and CEO of St. Joseph Health in Irvine, California, and chairperson of the Catholic Health Association, remarked that today’s leaders need to “live in ambiguity and live in it comfortably.”

For more information on the key points raised in this panel discussion, visit:

Author: Jim WiederholdJim believes his 39 years of experience--particularly his more than 26 years in healthcare--has prepared him well for what he does. His wealth of experience spans key areas, including finance, operations, management, leadership, sales and sales management, corporate, contingency, contractual and retained recruiting, outplacement and transition work and executive coaching.