On Wednesday, more than 250 Leadership Health Care (LHC) members gathered for an executive briefing with Milton Johnson, CEO of HCA. The candid discussion was moderated by LHC board vice chairman and HCA director of development/ special assets Will Howorth, who pointed out that he and his colleagues tend to ask, “What would Milton do?” when approaching a challenge at work.
Johnson, a 33-year veteran of the company, fielded questions covering a range of topics, from HCA’s clinical agenda to career advice for millennials to the upcoming Presidential election. Central to the conversation was Johnson’s strategic plan and focus for the organization.
“When I was appointed CEO in 2014, it was important for me to get out into our markets and talk to as many employees and caregivers as possible. I wanted to communicate what I value as a CEO, what I expect from employees and what they can expect from me,” said Johnson.
He explained that HCA has a patient-focused agenda, concentrating on the pillars of safety, quality outcomes and patient experience. Increasing physician leadership and investing in big data analytics are just a couple of ways the company has increased quality outcomes.
“HCA has the largest database of clinical data in the country. We collect structured data, which we garner from electronic medical records, as well as unstructured data, which we receive through clinicians’ notes, and work to integrate that information in a way to improve outcomes,” said Johnson. “We’ve hired our first chief data scientist, and invested tens of millions of dollars in this area. I’m very excited about this aspect of our business and what it can do to save lives.”
The crowd of young health care professionals was particularly interested in hearing Johnson’s advice on leadership and career success. When asked how someone can position themselves for advancement, Johnson said, “Join a company that has a lot of opportunities for growth, and pay attention to what is going on around you.”
This executive briefing was part of ongoing programming for the Council’s Leadership Health Care initiative, offering members insight from national industry leaders in an interactive setting. For more information about Leadership Health Care, visit www.leadershiphealthcare.com.