2014 resolutions for healthcare leaders

Dissatisfied with your “must do” resolution list this year? Here are a few “nice to do” suggestions from NCHL, to help round that list out with a to-do or two that are hopefully at least a bit more inspiring and fun. (Public commitment is optional, but worth considering.)

Goal #1.  Work on bending the sick curve.  Earlier this fall, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation published the first health-related “good news” infographic I have seen in years. The graphics depict CDC data indicating that from 2008-2011, childhood obesity rates among young children dropped in 18 U.S. states.

How about setting a goal to be a part of that good news when the next report comes out? You can find suggestions on the Health Care Providers page of the Let’s Move website.

Goal #2. Work on bending the stress curve.  Getting the sense that healthcare management has become a lot more stressful these days? You’re not alone – and it’s not just healthcare management. Research by Harris Interactive has been tracking an upward trend in stress levels among working adults for over a decade.

Interested in getting stress management taken seriously in your organization?  The American Psychological Association’s “Stress in America” study provides a good overview of the current state, as well as the ways healthcare systems could take a more active role to the benefit of our patients. What about leading by example? The current issue of Frontiers in Health Services Management is all about strategies for personal and professional resilience in the age of healthcare reform.

Goal #3. Work on transcending “bending the cost curve.”  Recognized as problematic almost from its inception, the problems with the very well-traveled “bending the cost curve” metaphor are by now well documented in forums as diverse as the New York Times, Health Affairs, and IHI COO Jeffrey Selberg’s remarks at NCHL’s 2012 Annual Conference.

How might we best help the national dialog move past an obsession with near-term cost, and toward the aspirations represented by the triple aim?

Yes it’s a tough question, which is why I’m giving you a year.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.  And wishing you a healthy, prosperous 2014, from all of us at NCHL.




About Andrew Garman

Chief Executive Officer, NCHL; Professor, Health Systems Management Department, Rush University

One response to “2014 resolutions for healthcare leaders”

  1. Kathy McDonagh says :

    Andy: Thanks for the reflective thoughts on resolutions for the New Year. If all of our citizens took a proactive approach to managing their health we could inch towards a healthier country. I also enjoyed the articles about jargon like “bending the cost curve” and “optics”. Very appropos! Happy New Year to all at NCHL……………….Kathy McDonagh

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