Getting there is half the fun, right? Keep that in mind this holiday season, all of you who will be loading the family jalopy with unruly kids, rambunctious pets, more baggage than you even knew you owned and every flashy distraction Silicon Valley has yet to devise. The ride to Grandma’s house can get a little bumpy.
“Bumpy” is exactly the ride we’re on in health care right now. The road is strewn with hazards, from changing economics to proliferating performance measures, from rapidly evolving technologies and medications to dramatically shifting demographics when it comes to age, ethnicity and just about everything else. Safely navigating that road takes drivers who are deft at dodging danger, yet bold enough to keep moving forward, who can make informed decisions about when to stay the course and when to take a detour — and who might, in some cases, choose to forge a different route altogether.
As a hospital board member, you are one of those drivers, and this issue of Trustee has plenty of advice to help you along the way. In a Q&A on Page 18, Rich Umbdenstock urges trustees to see health care from the viewpoint of today’s consumers, who want clear pricing, good quality, convenient access and friendly service. In Practical Matters on Page 6, Cindy Fineran and Nicole Matson lay out all the reasons boards must make concerted efforts to recruit members from Generations X, Y and even Z. And in the Viewpoint on Page 32, Diane L. Dixon explains why today’s trustees must adopt a “transorganizational mindset” that encompasses the entire continuum of care.
The tricky thing about all this is that nobody has been able to define specifically what the final destination is, either for individual hospitals or for health care in general. It’s still very much a work in progress, and probably always will be. But getting there — wherever “there” is — is vital and invigorating. It might even be a little fun.