How would you describe the situation Levy inherited?
The Beth Israel Hospital and Deaconess Hospital were consolidated and became Beth Israel Deaconess (BID) in 1996. BID operated under the Care Group Systems (CGS), which was an affiliation of some Boston-area hospitals. The BID hospital system was in anarchy. There were significant operating losses, amounting to millions of dollars each year. BID management seemed incapable of implementing turnaround plans. The hospital experienced tremendous employee turnover and suffered from poor patient care. The old hierarchical structure continued in the new BID. There were layers of management with bureaucratic processes. Each department seemed to run independently of one another. Managers and chiefs were in psychic prisons as they seemed unable to move forward. Things remained as they always had, with no room for change. The board made decisions on a group-think basis, using past practices because of an inability to accept the changes that had been recommended. The organization could be called egocentric with its fixed idea of who it is and the unspoken need to remain the same old BI hospital. Recommendations for a turnaround plan were never implemented successfully. Management would agree to implement change, but plans for change were often postponed or disregarded. The bureaucracy led to long and delayed processes that didn’t seem to lead anywhere. Though the reasons were not known, plans just weren’t implemented. The company could be analyzed as a machine in that each department seemed to go about their own business, each independent from one another. There were no over-all goals from management, though management was running the company. Even with the Board of Directors (BOD), decisions were made from group think. The BID resulted as a defense mechanism to the new Partners Healthcare System. The BID leaders tried to control things as they always had. They ran the new group without regards to the merged partnered hospitals. They were in a psychic prison where they had to be better than their rival Partners System. As part of the merger, they decided clinical integration would be best, with all partners and staff fitting into the BID model. They were oblivious to the problems it created. They were caught up in the group-think trap, making decisions on what that small group believed to be true. The BID can also be analyzed through the flux metaphor and egocentrism. The BID BOD saw BID as one hospital striving to survive against the Partners System and the outside world. They see themselves as the best hospital, well known for extremely high patient care. They are lost in their own reality and can no longer see who they have become. They still live in their perfect world of a perfect hospital. This kind of behavior is also seen within the chiefs and the COO. The chiefs were always the lead managers within their own specialty, as was the COO. They didn’t really answer to anyone, they knew all of the right answers, and everyone was to accept that as reality. Paul Levy faced many challenges when he agreed to accept the position of President and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). As President and CEO, he was expected to create a rapid turnaround of the deteriorating financial condition of the hospital. He was also expected to stop the several-year trend of flawed implementation of turnaround recommendations. Further, he was working under intense scrutiny and pressure from many officials, including the Attorney General’s Office of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (AG), the BID Board of Directors, and the Board of Directors of the BID parent company, Care Group (CG).
How did Levy get started in his new job? What were his goals and what did he accomplish? First day on the job? First week?
Before Levy accepted the position, he made conditions for...