In a multi-specialty, primary care dominated practice, the CEO must articulate the mission and the vision of the practice. Unlike the corporate CEOL, this CEO will lead by example in quality of care, vision for the future, passion for excellence and re-visioning the future of healthcare delivery.
The CEO’s will set the agenda more and lead more by example than by authority. The CEO’s job is to create a by consensus through goal setting and shared vision.. He/she must see the future in the present and prepare and position the organization to meet the challenges of the future. One of the key capabilities of the CEO will be the ability to express verbally and in writing the goals, vision and mission of the practice.
In an organization such as medical a practice, the CEO must be able to set aside his/her personal interests in deference to the good of the whole. While depending upon the operational excellence and the budgetary and fiscal support of the Chief Operating Officer and the Chief Financial Officer, it is the CEO’s responsibility to propose initiatives with an eye on fiscal sound judgments and with the overall financial stability of the practice in view It is the CEO who must continually remind the medical practice that patient safety and patient welfare takes precedence over the financial benefit of the partners and providers of the practice.
In this regard, SETMA’s CEO has led the organization to embrace the principle that the interest of the patient is preeminent. This has led SETMA to adopt the public motto: Healthcare Where Your Health is the Only Care and the private motto: We Want to Do Good While We Do Well. The credos have led to the forming of the SETMA Foundation through which patients receive care which they otherwise would not be able to afford. The CEO has led the Governance Board to annually give $500,000 to the Foundation for the support of the care of SETMA’s patient who cannot afford care.
While the CEO will have responsibility for finalizing contracts and relationships, and while the CEO will have some latitude in exploring opportunities and making recommendations to the Governance Board, the Governance Board is the final authority in the practice. The success of the CEO will be based upon the respect he/she shows for the Governance Board’s authority. The most successful organizations have a Board that looks to the CEO for leadership and that has a CEO who looks to the Board for support and endorsement.
SETMA is governed by a majority vote of the Governance Board, but like all great organizations, the consensus of the voting members of the Governance Board gives strength, stability and sustaining power to the organization. In the first twenty-years of SETMA’s existence, all major decisions have been made by unanimous vote.
Serving on the Executive Management Team which is a subgroup of the Governance Board and which is charged with carrying business of the practice between Governance Board meetings.
The principle job of the CEO will be to share and to pursue the practice’s mission, vision and goals with each of the providers and participants in the practice. SETMA’s Mission Statement, a copy of which is display in the lobby of all SETMA clinics, is
“To build a multi-specialty clinic in Southeast Texas which is worthy of the trust of every patient who seeks our help with their health, and to promote excellence in healthcare delivery by example.:
(Note: “ The origin of this mission statement is worth noting. In October of 1997, two of the co-founding partners of SETMA attended the Medical Group Management Association’s (MGMA) annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Drs. Mark Wilson and James L. Holly also attended a one- day, pre-conference on ‘strategic planning.’ As the two left one session, Dr. Wilson, addressing Dr. Holly, commented, ‘You know, Larry, our goals may not be the same.’
“SETMA had only been founded two years and two months before and while we were gratified by how much we had accomplished, as evidenced by the dialogue which had taken place in this pre-conference, we were still feeling our way along in personal relationships and team building.
In response to his comment Dr. Holly said to Dr. Wilson, ‘Mark, you may be right; what is your goal?’ After Dr. Wilson stated his goals, Dr. Holly opened his notebook and showed him a statement outlined in bold ink. The statement incredibly was word for word what Dr. Wilson had said. At that moment, we knew that our mission was clear and that the future of SETMA was secure. SETMA has never deviated from this mission statement’s spirit and intent.)
To lead SETMA’s medical educational programs, which includes:
- A Patient-Centered Medical Home Senior Medical Student Externship in association with Texas Medical Schools
- A Patient-Centered Medical Home Primary-Care Graduate Medical Education (GRE) training program in association with multiple GME Programs.
- Clinical experience for family nurse practitioner students.
- The monthly healthcare provider education meeting where the office is closed for a half day and all providers meet for training, quality of care review, review of audit provider performance by name and discussions of how to improve the quality of SETMA’s care. (Note: Due t the content and excellence of this monthly meeting, the American Board of Family Medicine gives their diplomats CME credit for attending these sessions.)
To lead SETMA’s electronic health record deployment which began in March, 1998 and to guide the development of SEMTA’s electronic patient management through disease management programs, clinical decision support, the definition of the SETMA Model of Care and the development and maintenance of SETMA’s website at www.setma.ccom as an education tool and as a extension of SETMA’s identify in the larger healthcare community.
To promote SETMA and SETMA’s mission at the state, regional and national level of healthcare discussion and public policy decision making. Also to promote SETMA with a weekly health column in a local newspaper for the past fourteen years. All of these columns are posted on SETMA’s website.