By Katie Witkowski

hc1.com headed to the West Coast this last weekend for the AHA Leadership Conference in San Diego, CA. The focus of the event was to highlight operational efficiencies and cost reduction tools to improve organizations - without jeopardizing quality patient care. What attendees came to find, however, was that this conference had a much bigger theme: how do we change the world, and how do we do it right now?

As a leader in the healthcare industry, responsibilities aren't caged in Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations - they're grander than that. Being a leader, and a great one at that, means having a sense of urgency. Malcolm Gladwell, renowned author of Outliers, The Tipping Point, and David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, challenged the audience during his AHA keynote speech with the question: "Where is your sense of urgency?" He then told an inspirational story from one of his books about the medical team that studied to cure children in the 1950's of Childhood Leukemia - when the mortality rate was nearly a staggering 100%. He spoke about how this medical team worked diligently, despite an un-encouraging environment of hospital leadership who thought their methods of care were 'unethical'. Can you imagine a world today where don't have chemotherapy to treat cancer patients into remission? It was this medical team's sense of urgency to change the world that allowed them to persevere, and save lives in the process.

Gladwell's methodology was also present during Peyton Manning's keynote. Yes, Peyton Manning: Superbowl Champion, NFL MVP, and arguably the greatest quarterback of all time. Us Hoosiers in the audience were thrilled to see him! He was also wearing a blue blazer, which we believe was Colts blue as opposed to Bronco navy. Manning touched on the importance of being a leader to his team and overcoming various hardships, setbacks, and roadblocks they came across. He leads with a positive attitude and sense of urgency to keep pushing towards the end result. After a season of suspensions, illness, and all-star team member trades, the Broncos still made it to the Superbowl, and it was Manning's leadership that paved the way for the team to continue striding towards the big game.

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As leaders in healthcare, we must all challenge ourselves to have a sense of urgency and cultivate an attitude and environment that allows this sense of urgency to flourish into success. At hc1.com we value innovation, which is why we built a solution that focuses on the most critical parts of our customers' business. We understand the importance of having a sense of urgency to not only increase operational efficiencies and deliver quality care, but to do so with tools that provide a lean process to break down communication barriers and identify root causes to issues in real-time.

To quote Gladwell, "Healthcare is not just another industry - it's the foundation for how we treat illness and improve lives." Now we challenge you: what is your sense of urgency?

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