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Have you ever tried to recoil a hose against its natural grade? Michael Allen, CFO at OSF Healthcare, attributed this colloquialism to the need for healthcare re-design at the Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA) Summit where CHEF had the pleasure of co-sponsoring two education sessions. We can grasp the comparison with both tasks being arduous and frustrating.  If the healthcare system keeps churning and the hose keeps flowing, many question the sense in attempting the feats at all.

However, here in Northern Illinois, we have a clearer view of the catalysts pushing change in our industry.  Merger and acquisition activity, technological innovations via business incubators, and challenges to financial sustainability posed by government impasses all produce a fervent ground for wholesale change to the healthcare business model.  The Health Care Council of Chicago recently published a white paper identifying five factors that make Chicago a “world healthcare industry leader” but cautions that we are limited by “a delivery system that fails to coordinate care and drive innovation.”  CHEF, similarly to the American College of Healthcare Executives, endeavors to be the preeminent professional society for healthcare executives dedicated to improving health. We hope that our education, networking, and certification activities help support the diversity of thought and relationships necessary to break down the silos and take advantage of this unique healthcare environment.

Healthcare has received a ‘nip and tuck’ in the last decade due to integration of electronic health records, medical advances transitioning care to the ambulatory realm, and legislation amending the revenue structure of many health enterprises. Yet the collective health of our communities per healthcare dollar spent still lags behind many other comparative populations.  The momentous re-design is yet to come.  CHEF and ACHE will continue to support you in your efforts to be a part of that change.  You don’t have to recoil that hose alone!

Earnest Davis, Jr., FACHE
2017 CHEF President