On July 1, 2013 Neil Meltzer became President and CEO of LifeBridge Health. In this 4-part series he shares his vision for the organization.
If you’ve happened upon a newsstand or channel-surfed into any 11 p.m. broadcast, you’re well aware that the health care industry is changing. Much ink has been spilled about what these changes mean for our field and for our nation as a whole. Health care organizations must navigate changing compensation models; they must meet the needs for new technologies; and they must revitalize their physician partnerships. Guiding any health care system especially one as diverse and complex as LifeBridge Health through these changes is a challenge, and, from Meltzer’s perspective, an opportunity.
“Being a part of any career with a social mission can be exceptionally rewarding,” he says. “But it requires the ability to be a lifelong learner and to truly care about making a difference to those in need. Negotiating an industry that doesnt follow basic business principles requires an intellectual acuity and quicksilver creativity.”
“Imagine you’re the CEO of a bakery, but you have to keep the bakery open 24-7 because you’re never sure who’s going to walk in the door,” Meltzer explains. “You have to have sufficient staff for whomever might arrive, and you’ve got to keep a variety of baked goods on hand because you’re not sure what your customer will want. You’re told how to price your goods and you have to give away your inventory if your customer can’t pay.”
This may seem like a sticky situation (even if we’re not selling sticky buns), but the one thing our multibillion dollar, internationally renown health care system has in common with that mom-and-pop corner bakery is the customer’s experience is always uppermost in our minds. LifeBridge Health is enacting an even deeper emphasis on developing lifelong relationships with our patient populations, and enfolding them in our continuum of care. Continuum of care may sound like a catchphrase dreamed up by someone with an ad-mans savvy, but it is, in fact, the guiding force of our patient-centered care philosophy.
For Meltzer, the patient’s experience begins long before his or her first step inside a LifeBridge Health facility: It starts in the community. People have a relationship with the organization and they know that were here to care for them in any aspect of their lives, whether they have a cold and need a primary care physician; whether they need some basic treatment, like a flu shot; or whether they need some major cardiac or neuro-surgery, or even cancer care. I want them to turn to us as their health partner for life. We can provide the kind of care or services or support they may need, whenever they need it.
Part of what makes LifeBridge Health so uniquely positioned to meet and exceed these new challenges within our industry is, according to Meltzer, our strong and growing destination programs, our rich ties to the communities we serve and our great employee and physician base.
Read part one of the series here.
To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premiere health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.