How to talk with your C-Suite about implementing a Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH) Pilot into your Facility

It has happened. You, finally, have a meeting to talk with your C-Suite (e.g., CEO, CMO, COO, CNO, etc) about implementing a PSH Pilot into your facility.  You are so excited.  Now it is preparation time!  The information listed below will assist you as you prepare for this very important meeting.

  • Do your homework – It is important to be well prepared for any meeting with the C-Suite. But it is especially imperative when you are trying to persuade them to launch a new initiative such as implementing a PSH Pilot into your facility. Be prepared to discuss:
    • How the PSH model addresses the current regulatory pressures
    • The guiding principles of the PSH
    • The benefits to participating in the PSH which include:
      • Positive patient centered reported outcomes – Satisfaction, return to prior or improved functional status
      • Increase in Internal efficiency outcomes – delays, cancellations, length of stay
      • Improvement in clinical and safety outcomes – complications, readmissions, post-acute functional status
      • Better economic outcomes – total cost of episode of care, resource utilization
      • Increase in continuous quality improvement – trends over time, satisfaction of stakeholders
  • Be observant – Understanding how to best communicate with the members of your C-Suite is critical.  It is important to tailor your communication style to this specific audience to ensure successful and productive discussions.  Some questions to consider when tailoring your communication style are:
    • Are the members of your C-Suite persuaded more by data or is it personalized stories with which they better connect
    • Do they prefer to communicate face-to-face or over email?
    • Are they quick and to the point or do they prefer to chat first?

You can get answers to these questions through your own personal observation, by talking to the C-Suite’s administrative assistant or by talking with your colleagues about their personal experiences with the C-Suite.

  • Put yourself in their shoes – Another exercise that can help you prepare for your meeting is to think like a member of the C-Suite. Your message will be much more effective if you can see things from their perspective. To assist you to think like a member of your C-Suite consider the following questions:
    • What is important to your C-Suite?
    • What is not important to your C-Suite?
    • What is the impact to the organization if the PSH Pilot is implemented?
    • What is the risk to the organization if the PSH Pilot is not implemented?
    • How does the PSH Model fit into the organizations goals and mission?
    • Are there ways in which the implementation of the PSH Pilot could start small, be evaluated and determine if there is enough benefit to substantiate it being continued?
  • Listen – This is the most important skill to ensure a successful meeting. It is important that you not only hear what the members of your C-Suite are saying but that you understand it as well. Implementing a PSH Pilot in your facility may not be only one conversation with the C-Suite. It is very likely that you will have a series of meetings.  Therefore, at each meeting it is critical that you are an active listener. Steps to being an active listener include:
    • Maintain eye contact
    • Taking notes
    • Summarizing feedback
    • Ask clarifying questions
    • Focus on what the speaker is saying and not thinking about what you are going to say next
    • Keep an open mind

Learn how your peers talked to their C-suite:

Gary Stier
"I explained the value of the PSH Learning Collaborative to my C-suite by describing how the opportunity will provide the institution with access to resources, networking, data and the opportunity to build relationships." - Gary Stier, M.D., M.B.A., Loma Linda University Health

Gary Loyd
"The CEOs, the CFOs, the COOs, the CM, all of them are very important in succeeding at the PSH. You constantly have to go back to the C-suite and tell them what your progress is, what our next goals are, how we're getting to the next step; it's a constant dialogue." -  Gary Loyd, M.D., Director Perioperative Surgical Home, Henry Ford Health System

Below are some links to resources including presentations, talking points and some published articles on the PSH model that will further assist you in your preparation to speak with your C-Suite about implementing a PSH Pilot into your facility. 

By following these helpful hints, your meetings with the C-Suite are guaranteed to be successful.