Bill Sugg Valley County Health Systems
Bill Sugg - Struggling Community Hospitals

Bill Sugg’s Strategies for Struggling Community Hospitals

Community hospitals have been struggling in the healthcare industry as they face a variety of problems, forcing many to close up shop or file for bankruptcy. Rural hospitals are vital to those who live in farmlands or in the vast Midwest, meaning many people will have limited access to healthcare as small community hospitals continue to disappear. Healthcare executive, Bill Sugg, uses his 25+ years of experience in the industry to pinpoint issues community hospitals are facing, and how those issues can be overcome.

Patient Volume

One of the largest problems community hospitals face is the decreasing volume of patients who walk through the doors. Bill Sugg explains that this can be caused by the popularity of high-deductible health plans and larger centers that draw more people. To combat this, Bill Sugg suggests that leaders determine the root cause, whether that be a shrinking market or competitors. As larger healthcare systems use more marketing tactics and more sophisticated technologies, community hospitals must focus on staying known and monitoring reputation. Bill Sugg recommends creating a community engagement survey to target problems areas in the patient’s experience which could be giving the community a bad impression of the facility.

Technology Investments

When community hospitals are dealing with financial burdens, it can be quite challenging to invest in new medical technologies. However, Bill Sugg explains that prioritizing the purchase of the most needed medical devices will help keep community hospitals significant in the industry. Patients are looking for the centers where they can get the best care, which oftentimes means access the most up to date technologies. To increase opportunity and/or budget, Bill Sugg suggests community hospitals look into forming partnerships. This would allow smaller hospitals to stay independent while gaining access to new benefits they may otherwise not have had.

Merging

If partnerships are not available, the next step would be to consider looking for a larger healthcare system in the area who may want to join forces. Bill Sugg notes that it is very important to find another organization that has bountiful resources and an excellent vision for serving the smaller local area. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for the larger system to lose touch with the smaller local market after merging. Bill Sugg believes it is of utmost importance that the community’s needs are considered during the deal.

About Bill Sugg

Throughout his management career, William T. Sugg, also known as Bill, has worked through almost every major crisis possible in a hospital setting, including deadly tornadoes, floods, fires, scandals and rebuilding the 17th most beautiful hospital in the United States. His leadership style is approachable, transparent, and people-centered. William T. Sugg believes in a strong teamwork culture that promotes respect, trust, commitment, and dedication to goals and values.

Bill Sugg - Keeping Clinical Records

Bill Sugg Explains the Value of Keeping Clinical Records

Bill Sugg understands how documentation helps both the organization and the patient.

Providing excellent healthcare extends beyond just the treatment phase. Extensive paperwork and supporting documents can be tedious to complete and file and need to be stored in a safe and secure manner. These files, however, contribute to the overall quality of care for each and every patient. Bill Sugg, a healthcare executive with more than 25 years of experience in the industry, explains why clinical record keeping is an essential duty of reputable medical organizations.

Clinical notes consist of the documented medical history of a patient. Caregivers record relevant information to keep track of patients and use for future reference. Bill Sugg believes that if something is not written down, there is no proof it happened. Maintaining accurate records ensures consistency and builds trust between a patient and their caregivers.

According to Bill Sugg, it should also allow healthcare professionals to better communicate with each other. All staff members involved in providing care should update the clinical note file as needed, and refer to the notes of other physicians. Professionals can use the compiled information to make informed decisions about current and future care.

Bill Sugg states that it also greatly benefits the patients, who do not have to retake tests or try inappropriate treatments. Proper documents also save time and help patients get to the right treatment faster. If patients would like to see their entire medical file, it should be accessible to them. This helps patients keep track of all procedures and treatments performed in the past, which can help them consider what to try in the future.

A reputable healthcare organization will understand the importance of keeping clinical notes, and make sure the practice is properly enforced. Much like other businesses, hospitals can also be audited. Audits are necessary to monitor the quality of services and are useful when serious issues are under investigation. Clinical notes may also be required in a court of law.

With proper clinical note taking, Bill Sugg believes hospitals can maintain excellent quality of care and uphold accountability for their staff members. It truly is a win-win!

About Bill Sugg

Throughout his management career, William T. Sugg, also known as Bill, has worked through almost every major crisis possible in a hospital setting, including deadly tornadoes, floods, fires, scandals and rebuilding the 17th most beautiful hospital in the United States. His leadership style is approachable, transparent, and people-centered. William T. Sugg believes in a strong teamwork culture that promotes respect, trust, commitment, and dedication to goals and values.

William Sugg - Manage a Successful Hospital Merger

Manage a Successful Hospital Merger with William Sugg’s Key Tips

William T. Sugg shares how healthcare leaders can help employees focus on merger benefits and the organization’s future.

The healthcare industry is constantly experiencing change, and a recent national trend shows that independent hospitals have been consolidating. Hospitals must put together various approaches to adapt and overcome since the recent surge in merger and acquisition activity shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. The pressure to increase service quality while reducing costs continues to rise, meaning some healthcare organizations just won’t be able to stand alone. 

William T. Sugg, a healthcare executive with more than 25 years of experience in the industry, understands the difficult challenges that lie ahead for these organizations. He shares key tips to manage a successful hospital merger. 

Over-Communicate

Management must create a formal communications plan, providing employees, stakeholders, and the public with as much transparency as possible. William T. Sugg believes updates should be given frequently and consistently to ensure a smooth transition. Leaders should routinely communicate both internally and externally with community members, crafting specific messages for different groups.

Unfortunately, uncertainty and fear are natural emotions that will be expressed by all those involved. William T. Sugg explains that with a successful communication plan, management can focus on the organization’s main goals and the benefits that will arise. Everyone wants to know how the merger will affect them personally, and clarity will bring with it an internal consensus for change.

Blend Workplace Culture

Management should have an excellent understanding of the workplace cultures from both organizations. William T. Sugg explains that culture is a combination of beliefs, norms, values, organizational style, communication methods, and more. By evaluating both organizations, leaders can take the best of each and use it to leverage an even better-combined organization. 

Too often are organizational similarities and differences ignored in the early stages of mergers and acquisitions. By making workplace culture a priority from the beginning, leaders can identify areas of potential incompatibility and draft a plan to solve the issue before it even arises. William T. Sugg suggests that planning ahead can help to build a new, strong culture despite all the change. 

About William T. Sugg

Throughout his management career, William T. Sugg, also known as Bill, has worked through almost every major crisis possible in a hospital setting, including deadly tornadoes, floods, fires, scandals and rebuilding the 17th most beautiful hospital in the United States. His leadership style is approachable, transparent, and people-centered. William T. Sugg believes in a strong teamwork culture that promotes respect, trust, commitment, and dedication to goals and values. 

Establishing Effective Communication in Healthcare with William T. Sugg

With proper communication comes workplace efficiency, which can be established using William T. Sugg’s 3 tips.

Communication is the transfer and understanding of meaning between a sender and a receiver. William T. Sugg stresses that communication is one of the most crucial factors affecting the efficiency of an organization. Organizational communication is a collection of interactions, decisions, interpretations, and actions throughout the organization. When it comes to hospitals and healthcare, effective communication is truly the difference between life and death.
With more than 25 years of experience as a healthcare executive, William T. Sugg, founder of a 501c (3) Healthcare Foundation and a Corporate University, lists his suggestions for establishing effective communication within your organization.

Defined Hierarchy

An organizational structure dictates how the supervision, allocation of tasks, and task coordination are directed to achieve the organization’s primary objectives. If the organizational structure is not consistent and efficient, there is a greater chance of confusion and mistakes. William T. Sugg suggests implementing defined hierarchy channels of communication. This prevents discrepancies in what is expected or needed by upper level management. Objectives can effectively be communicated down the chain of command quickly without hesitation or delay.
Accuracy

Williiam T. Sugg notes that two key factors to effective downward communication channels is the accuracy and speed of information. Communications should be as simple as possible and easy to understand across various departments. Effective communication channels that enhance the speed and accuracy include email, instant message, or mobile communication. Employees can use messages as reference to their job task or objective. Face to face communication has been shown to increase the chances of misinformation being passed downward. Almost everyone has played the game telephone where the message is whispered around a circle of players and at the end of the circle, the last person recites the message. More often than not, that message is vastly different than what was originally said.

Transparency

Receiving clear direction is crucial, but William T. Sugg also highlights the importance of management’s attitude towards receiving criticism. When management allows constructive criticism or concerns to be communicated upward, there is greater mutual trust between employees and upper level management. Management does not have the ability to be everywhere at all times. Team members need to be able to communicate what they are experiencing to their superiors to give management visibility of constraints. To prevent the distrust, upper management needs to be as transparent as possible, providing clear directions and intent, as well as be receptive to criticism. If management refuses to hear the employee’s perspective, it can create serious issues within the organization in morale, retention rates, and long term problems that may continue to build if they go unaddressed.

William T. Sugg - People-Oriented Management Style

The Benefits of a People-Oriented Management Style with William T. Sugg

William T. Sugg explains why leaders should focus on their employees instead of on tasks.

Leaders are faced with the difficult decision of choosing the best management style for their organization. Choosing the right management style is essential in ensuring the success and retention of employees. If led the wrong way, team members can become discouraged, disorganized and unproductive.

Two of the most common management styles are task-oriented and people-oriented. In a task-oriented management style, employees focus on tasks that must be accomplished in order to reach goals or meet a performance standard. A people-oriented management style is exactly as it sounds. Leaders build relationships with employees and include them in company operations.

After 25 years of experience as a healthcare executive, William T. Sugg explains why a people-oriented management style is effective in a hospital setting.

People-oriented leadership should incorporate coaching since the main focus is building relationships with employees, the biggest asset of an organization. William T. Sugg believes that coaching employees will help them find their strengths and weaknesses. Identifying weaknesses is key to creating strategies for improvement and can lead to better communication and open dialogue between all levels of an organization. Over time, leaders will appear less intimidating and employees will feel valued for providing their input on the situation at hand.

Another great advantage of incorporating a people-oriented management style is the boost in employee engagement and morale. William T. Sugg explains that employees don’t feel as criticized or looked down upon by upper management, and see a bright future with room to grow, learn, and develop. Team members are more engaged in their tasks and know exactly what to work on, leading to a more productive and efficient staff.

When thinking about the future of a company, William T. Sugg knows that employees who are valued and proficient in their trade will ultimately perform at a higher level and have longer retention rates. This cuts down on the cost and time required to constantly hire new employees at a company with a high turnover rate. William T. Sugg knows that training new employees to be as efficient as long-term employees are very time-consuming for an organization trying to be efficient.

About William T. Sugg

Throughout his management career, William T. Sugg, also known as Bill, has worked through almost every major crisis possible in a hospital setting, including deadly tornadoes, floods, fires, scandals and rebuilding the 17th most beautiful hospital in the United States. He is a politically astute healthcare executive with more than 25 years of experience. His leadership style is approachable, transparent, and people-centered. William T. Sugg believes in a strong teamwork culture that promotes respect, trust, commitment, and dedication to goals and values.

William T. Sugg Explains Why Strategic Planning is Key to Success

Healthcare executive, William T. Sugg, breaks down the benefits of implementing strategic plans.

The healthcare industry is constantly changing and progressing as new technologies become readily available, and new methods of treatment are discovered. As with any organization, it’s crucial to prepare for the future and plan for the unknown. After 25 years of experience as a healthcare executive, William T. Sugg knows the value of creating a strategic plan for more efficiency in every department of an organization.

Simply put, a strategic plan allows leaders to set goals for an organization and map out a plan to reach said goals in the future. William T. Sugg believes that healthcare planning in particular should consider things like potential government policy changes, advancements in technology, and economic trends that might impact operations. This will help leaders recognize major external trends amongst other benefits, explained by William T. Sugg.

Clarity in Crisis

Sudden incidents can cause confusion and panic amongst employees and patients alike. William T. Sugg knows that with a properly executed plan, communication and clarity can calm seemingly disastrous matters. Employees should have the confidence needed to carry out their individual responsibilities in a variety of circumstances and be prepared for the psychological commitment they have to the organization.

Victory in Vision

Strategic planning is the life line of an organization. William T. Sugg explains that when a vision is developed and shared amongst all team members, everyone is on the same page working to achieve the same end goals. Employees can operate with a focus on vision instead of on daily circumstances. It will inspire team members and connect everyone with the excitement of the future.

Energy in Engagement

Studies have shown that employee engagement directly relates to the success of an organization. The level of discretionary effort given on the job, and the expression of company beliefs made by both teams and individuals plays a crucial role in retention rates and employee happiness. When employees can be encouraged and inspired to go above and beyond minimum standards, William T. Sugg believes that an organization can really be set apart and transformed into one of the best. An excellent leader can help inspire employees to believe in the organization’s vision.

Consensus in Collaboration

When a team is working together on a project, it’s very important they all work from the same foundation. Communication is critical to the success of a healthcare organization, and employees must not waste time disagreeing over rules, regulations, or procedures. William T. Sugg recommends using a strategic plan to align all employees and support a healthy environment.

About William T. Sugg

Throughout his management career, William T. Sugg, also known as Bill, has worked through almost every major crisis possible in a hospital setting, including deadly tornadoes, floods, fires, scandals and rebuilding the 17th most beautiful hospital in the United States. He is a politically astute healthcare executive with more than 25 years of experience. His leadership style is approachable, transparent, and people centered. William T. Sugg believes in a strong teamwork culture that promotes respect, trust, commitment, and dedication to goals and values.

Four Common Organizational Structures Explained by William T. Sugg

William T. Sugg

Healthcare executive, William T. Sugg, uses his experience to break down the inner workings of a hospital.

Running a large-scale hospital requires a strategic plan and flawless execution, because people’s lives are on the line, after all. High quality services must be offered around the clock, meaning a large team of staff must be functioning precisely. Organizations must create and implement an organizational structure, which is a system that explains how projects and activities are directed and run.

A hospital management structure should include specific details about rules, positions, and responsibilities as well as a plan for how information moves between people. There are many different types of organizational structures that can be used in a hospital setting, or even a combination of more than one.

With more than 25 years of business experience, William T. Sugg, founder of a 501c (3) Healthcare Foundation and a Corporate University, explains four commonly used organizational structures.

Divisional

A divisional organizational structure is very commonly found in hospitals and healthcare organizations. With this system, team members are grouped together based on their specializations in effort to achieve a high level of efficiency. For example, based on experience and expertise, doctors and nurses are divided into different areas in the hospital like pediatrics, surgery, radiology, etc.

Flat

Commonly seen in younger companies, a flat organizational structure better represents a liberal management system where each team member is their own boss. William T. Sugg describes the characteristics of a flat organizational structure to include more open communication policies and shared work spaces.

Functional

A functional organizational system is regularly seen in small and medium sized organizations and promotes quick decision making. Employees are grouped together based on the tasks they perform within the organization. For example, the finance department might include an accountant, auditor, chief financial officer, a financial analyst, etc. This helps people working closely towards a common goal have better communication and teamwork. William T. Sugg describes a con to the functional organizational structure as a lack of communication between different departments within the organization as a whole. It can lead to groups having a narrow focus on their tasks instead of seeing the company vision or big picture.

Matrix

A matrix organizational system combines components of the functional and divisional systems. First, people are grouped into functional departments, and are then separated even more into divisional projects. This system allows employees to have a lot of freedom, and also a lot of responsibility. It promotes innovation and creativity, and is one of the most popular systems used today. This is the most complex system, and William T. Sugg knows it requires strategic planning and excellent execution.

About William T. Sugg

Throughout his management career, William T. Sugg, also known as Bill, has worked through almost every major crisis possible in a hospital setting, including deadly tornadoes, floods, fires, scandals and rebuilding the 17th most beautiful hospital in the United States. He is a politically astute healthcare executive with more than 25 years of experience. His leadership style is approachable, transparent, and people centered. William T. Sugg believes in a strong teamwork culture that promotes respect, trust, commitment, and dedication to goals and values.

Corporate Universities are Changing Business, Explained by William T. Sugg

William T. Sugg of Valley County Health Systems promotes internal education programs, which are beneficial for both the organization and its employees.

Corporate universities first appeared in the mid-20th century as a response to rapidly changing business environments. Although many new employees receive a college education or formal training, it’s often times not enough preparation for a role in a high-level corporation. As the need for specialization and product development grows, so does the need for a new approach to corporate education.

With more than 25 years of business experience, William T. Sugg, founder of a 501c (3) Healthcare Foundation and a Corporate University, explains why internal education is key to a healthy, successful company.

Value to the Organization

An internal corporate university has curriculum that pertains to the organization specifically. Investing in employees has been shown to drive performance and results, as each person is fully equipped for the job at hand. William T. Sugg of Valley County Health Systems suggests that corporate universities also aid in the hiring process by opening the door to candidates who have the right attitude and energy, but perhaps not the experience that would normally be required. Reinforcing a positive and consistent work culture across all departments in the organization is a huge advantage to corporations.

Impact on Employees

A corporate university encourages individual growth, where employees can develop skills relevant to their career goals. William T. Sugg of Valley County Health Systems has seen how open discussion fosters development and innovation, and allows employees to connect with peers. When the program is complete, employees are more prepared and more confident at work. Corporate universities also create an increase in employee retention rate, as team members have more opportunities to grow within their roles and at the company.

Strategic Planning and Education

New research suggests that corporate universities can play a huge role in planning for the future. William T. Sugg of Valley County h=Health Systems explains that it’s a great opportunity to discuss the overall vision for a company, and set multi-year goals for teams. It can help employees understand how their projects tie together and make a difference in the organization. Presenting critical information in a condensed and easy to understand format saves time, and puts everyone on the same page with a shared vision.

About William T. Sugg

Throughout his management career, William T. Sugg of Valley County Health Systems, also known as Bill, has worked through almost every major crisis possible in a hospital setting, including deadly tornadoes, floods, fires, scandals and rebuilding the 17th most beautiful hospital in the United States. He is a politically astute healthcare executive with more than 25 years of experience. His leadership style is approachable, transparent, and people centered. William T. Sugg believes in a strong teamwork culture that promotes respect, trust, commitment, and dedication to goals and values.