Managing the bottom line can pose a difficult challenge for children's hospitals; when belt-tightening is unavoidable, how do you balance your priorities? Michael Aubin says it's critical to not overlook one primary focal point.
"There is a lot of pressure on all hospital management at every level to try to contain costs," says Aubin, FACHE, president of Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. "Sometimes in the eagerness or necessity of trying to cut costs, we lose sight of what we're actually focused on doing—taking care of the patients and their families to the best of our ability.
"If we need to make a change, how do we lessen—or even completely neutralize—how it impacts the quality of the patient care that we provide?" Aubin adds.
Aubin and his team at Wolfson Children's ask those questions as they work to reduce costs, and he says it's understood that changes may be necessary. "But we must make sure we test it against what we're about."
Focus especially crucial for children's hospitals
No hospitals are immune to fiscal pressures. But Aubin says focusing on the effect budgetary decisions will have on quality of care is especially crucial for children's hospitals. "If my adult hospital colleagues discontinue a service, there's usually someone else on the adult side that's going to do it," Aubin says. "When you're the children's hospital, and you decide to change something dramatically–sometimes you're the only one in town who does it."
Learn more from Wolfson Children's and how Aubin and his team execute a "big idea" to bring health care and education into their community.
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