Healthcare in America is like no other industry: it drives $3.5 trillion of economic activity, is predicted to create more jobs than any other sector in the next two decades, and impacts our very well being. That’s why I thought it important to share some insights from a conversation I recently had with a CEO who truly understands the future of healthcare, Michael Dowling …
Michael Dowling joined Northwell in 1995 it was just two hospitals — today it is 23 hospitals with 68,000 employees and $12 billion revenue, and is known for some of the highest clinical outcomes, best patient experience and strongest cultures. When Michael and I spoke about what’s most important in this growth he explained, “It’s all about the people. I meet all new employees; I’ve been doing it every Monday for 14 years.” He explained that yes, he had met pretty much all the 68,000 employees for a 2 1/2 hour orientation they call ‘Beginnings’.
When I asked about focus in healthcare Michael shared, “Healthcare has been at the forefront of technology. Where we have been a little bit behind is in the connectivity with the consumer.” He further explained, “80% of healthcare is non-medical” meaning we need to focus more on eating right, exercising, and our environment. As we talked further what I thought really significant is how we, in America, actually think about healthcare. Dowling wrote a great book, Health Care Reboot. One of the themes is how we have to understand how far health care has truly come. Michael shared, “If you look back over the past 30 – 50 years. the accomplishments and he succession healthcare is absolutely extraordinary.”
In summary, I’m on hospital boards and have been involved in healthcare for years and I agree that we are always negative. But here’s my real take … practically all of us know several people who have beat cancer; we all know the trends strides healthcare has taken … I guess we just want to keep the pressure on so healthcare continues to improve at the dramatic rate it is.