The Queen’s Health Systems got a new president and CEO in October. Jill Hoggard Green took up her position shortly before the unprecedented challenges of 2020.
For Jill Hoggard Green, a top priority as the new president and CEO of The Queen’s Health Systems had been to run a three-day strategic planning retreat with the governing board in April. Of course, April was when Hawaii saw its first wave of Covid-19 cases, so instead that process has happened in weekly virtual sessions stretching from July through October. Green says the result has been more deliberate and thoughtful than a three-day retreat, allowing for more study and discussion and greater access to national experts as QHS looks ahead to the next 5 years.
There’s a lot to plan for. The American Hospital Association estimates that hospitals nationwide will lose about $300 billion this year, between the increased costs of Covid care and declining revenue tied to postponed elective care. Queen’s is in the same boat, incurring monthly expenses from $5 to $10 million higher than usual.
There’s also the issue of lean management practices on inventory and staffing. Originally developed for the manufacturing industry, lean, or “just in time,” practices seek to minimize overhead and reduce costs. Health care is one of the industries that adopted this approach in pursuit of lowering medical costs. But it is, however, one the reasons hospitals were caught short on supplies of personal protective equipment, among other impacts. Green says that while hospital administrators will have to continue watching the bottom line, they’re also going to have to figure out how to afford greater resiliency.