It was my honor to recently conduct a wide-ranging, one-on-one interview with Michael Dowling in his offices in New York City. The following is a portion of one of several articles published on the America’s Healthcare Leaders website as a result of that interview. To read this and related articles in their entirety, please visit www.americashealthcareleaders.com.
Michael Dowling, the President and CEO of New York’s North Shore-LIJ Health System, acknowledges that the future of healthcare will be challenging, yet he looks to the future with great determination and optimism:
“There are a lot of people these days, especially in healthcare, that look to the future with a sense of trepidation and fear and pessimism. They become somewhat catatonic, critical about the world that we are moving into. And yes, there are some dangers along the way, but I look at everything with hope and opportunity and optimism. Because you have to be optimistic. If you’re a leader in the organization and you want to inspire, and you want to create followers, you have to be optimistic… you have to look at every obstacle as an opportunity.”
When asked what he sees as one major change that is beginning to occur in healthcare, Dowling pointed toward the definition of quality, which traditionally has centered around metrics like length of stay, readmission, sepsis, mortality, etc. While some of these metrics will continue, Dowling explained that he expects a shift toward preventative care and population health management as the new focus. “We’ll have to define quality very differently in the future… quality in the future will be how we handle diabetes in the community, how we treat asthma in the community, how we deal with weight management and obesity. Those have to be the quality metrics.”
When the topic of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) inevitably arose, Dowling expressed his doubts that it will really work in the long run, fearing it is over-complicated and over-bureaucratized. He’s concerned that the government intends to micromanage the healthcare industry, and that in the long run it will not work. However, he went on to acknowledge that something needed to be done, and that’s why the PPACA was developed…
To continue reading the full article on the America’s Healthcare Leaders website, please click here.