In a new report by Coastline Health Systems, the results of a system-wide performance review were unveiled.  Two independent consulting groups had been hired to advise on improving outcomes, and they concluded their site visit this past autumn. Among the many findings of the report, the prominent message was how the system could be doing more for its administration.

hospital ceoThe analysis included administrator tension levels, administrator quality of life, quality of sleep, and overall mood.  On nearly every metric, results improved with increasing executive salary and benefit structure. The spokesperson for the consulting groups, Susan Rutherford, stressed the need for greater effort from the healthcare providers in the system, such as doctors and nurses, in order to address the problem of CEO stress.

“Clearly, Coastline Health needs to increase performance, if we are to have a meaningful impact on the lives of our chief executives,” stated Coastline Board Member George H. Sutton.  “Increased patient throughput and shorter caregiver interactions will allow us to decrease system-wide costs, enhance revenues, and thereby reduce stress for the administrators.”

Although traditionally the health system has focused on patient care, health outcomes, and reducing morbidity and mortality, there is a growing trend nationwide to recognize the often neglected population of hospital chief executives.  In the past 12 months, a growing number of root-cause-analysis studies have highlighted the importance of an efficient medical staff, if the well-being of the modern hospital administrator is to improve.  As a related finding, the performance review also stressed the importance of placing high in nationally published rank listings of health care systems – a metric that greatly enhanced CEO satisfaction.

Physician employees of Coastline Health could not be reached for comment.

In a brief email sent to all employees, administrators acknowledged the report, but asked medical team members to avoid being distracted by it.  “We appreciate all the attention this new report is generating, but if you are one of our healthcare workers, our message to you is simple: please don’t spend time discussing this amongst yourselves.  Focus on the efficient performance of your duties, and we’ll take care of everything else,” wrote hospital CFO Jesse Lerner, MHA.  “The important thing is to not stop working.”

The Board voted Monday to approve a new administrator satisfaction survey, which will be provided semiannually and whose results will help guide future decisions.  According to Sutton, “If we want to truly make a difference, we need to understand the people whose opinion matters most!”