For healthcare CEOs, as the size of the healthcare system grows, so grows their need to balance priorities. By organizational structure, larger system CEOs, including those individuals who are Physician CEOs, often coordinate with multiple individuals reporting to a board of directors. The CEO perhaps has a specific specialty from past experience––finance, legal, medical––with next-level leaders who broaden the operational bandwidth through their specialties.
In contrast to the stand-alone hospital CEO who are more intimately involved in the daily operations of the rural or individual hospital, large system CEOs find themselves in larger cities with more public points of interactions and more team members among the healthcare staff to whom they must stay connected.
Time is always a factor
Hospitals are 24/7 operations, and large systems have hundreds or thousands of people relying on services at any given time. The large system CEO cannot reasonably be involved in these daily functions and resource needs. This CEO is consistently informed by the people they’ve entrusted with overseeing specific functional areas. The CEO must hire the correct people to provide operational knowledge and support who report back on the needs of the system.
In the meantime, the large-system CEO balances the internal time demands with the duties of external community and coalition building. Regardless of the size of the healthcare facility or system, the CEO experiences the time demands of interaction with the arts, nonprofit organizations, Chambers of Commerce, and government officials at all levels. The difference for large-system CEOs is simply that cities where larger health systems are located have more points of interactions than rural communities.
Regardless of these external time pulls, the CEO must maintain accessibility to internal leaders, physician groups, teams, and patients and their families without micromanaging.
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Author: Rodney Reider

For more than 25 years, I have been intimately involved in the healthcare industry and have positioned organizations to adapt to the continuously and rapidly changing healthcare environment. I have worked with boards, physicians, employees and the community to strengthen core services to customers, optimize performance and identify best practices and strategic alliances for new business development.