A new study from the American College of Healthcare Executives reports that hospital CEO turnover increased to 20 percent in 2013, the highest rate reported since ACHE began tracking these numbers in 1981.
There are several reasons one could identify as causes for high CEO turnover, including the retirement of baby boomers and the trend towards consolidation in the industry, which may eliminate jobs.
All that being said, I believe that the most likely reason for high CEO turnover of late is the turmoil around IT, including but not limited to evaluating and buying equipment from EMR vendors, managing process changes as the EMR is installed, seeing to it that the EMR doesn’t bankrupt the hospital and more.
And then, there is a need for management to be responsible for all of the systems that feed into the EMR, and to do something with the data that they produce.
Bottom line, it’s hardly surprising that there are a record number of CEOs struggling to stay on top of the crest where IT is concerned. And it’s also not too surprising that some CEOs, who had done very well as the responsible leader with their hands on the wheel, might be less suited to the massive changes that can occur in the wake of IT transformation.
No, in reality it’s not very surprising that this is a time of high turnover for CEOs. When you pile on the various revolutions taking place in healthcare IT, and the need to lead your staff through them, manage them and prepare for the future, you have what might be seen as an impossible job for some CEOs. It’s not a big surprise that particularly high number of hospital CEOs are calling it a day — or having it called for them.