February 21, 2019 • By Aaron Orlowski
The healthcare industry is one of the last to go through a consumer-driven revolution — and many leaders aren’t prepared.
Traditionally expensive and provider-focused, healthcare organizations are facing a consumer landscape today in which patients are demanding affordable care, delivered in a transparent manner. They insist on being involved in the process and they expect a heightened level of service.
“The old, paternalistic attitude of doctors and hospitals thinking they know best what the patient wants is changing,” says Dr. Richard Afable, the former CEO of St. Joseph Hoag Health, and the current CEO of Concierge Key Health. “Not only does healthcare need to be less expensive, it has to engage the patient in a consumer-driven way. And, by the way, quality and outcomes are assumed.”
Traditional providers of healthcare are also facing stiff competition from tech titans that barely existed 20 years ago, and who now occupy vast market share.
“Amazon is one of the biggest healthcare organizations in the world. They distribute more health care products and prescription drugs than anyone else,” Afable says. “And their success is all driven by convenience, choice and by price. That is a consumer-based model.”
Six years ago, Afable saw that there were only a few avenues for doctors, administrators, executives and other healthcare professionals to learn how to navigate this transition. There was a need for contemporary education for those seeking to get ahead of the transformation — for the doctors aspiring to move into administration, medical administrators looking to upgrade their skills and executives and the entrepreneurs in the medical device, insurance, biotech and other fields looking for an edge.
“We didn’t need another training program in healthcare management. What we needed was a program in contemporary healthcare leadership. And that leadership needed to focus not on how to lead the health system, but how to lead the transformation of the health system,” Afable says.
So Dr. Afable played a key role in launching an executive education course for healthcare clinicians, administrators and innovators at the UCI Paul Merage School of Business.
In the Certificate in Leadership for Healthcare Transformation program, top Merage School professors in management, strategy and information systems partner with executive practitioners to deliver a curriculum that is constantly evolving to address the fast-changing field of healthcare. Afable himself teaches a session on strategy during the course.
The program features 70 hours of learning instruction, including 40 hours of interactive classroom instruction over five full days between March and June, plus a networking event.
The Merage School also offers more extensive educational programs dedicated to healthcare. The MBA for Executives program has a dedicated healthcare leadership track, while both the Full-Time and Fully Employed MBA programs offer specializations in Health Care Management and Policy.
At the end these programs, leaders are prepared to harness the healthcare transformation.
“Who’s going to embrace the transformation in the industry and use it to your organization’s best advantage? We’re talking about how to lead in the future.” Afable says. “The industry is changing so fast that some people who took the program six years ago could benefit from taking it again today.”