Kevin Tabb of Beth Israel Lahey Health on How to Get Ahead of Change in Healthcare

EPISODE SUMMARY
Harry talks with the CEO and president of Beth Israel Lahey Health, the product of Lahey Health’s merger this spring with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and several other hospitals in the Boston region. How does Dr. Tabb manage change inside a growing organization that—by his own admission—has to build and implement new tools, processes and the actionable data it needs to evolve beyond the fee-for-service era.

EPISODE NOTES
Harry talks with Kevin Tabb, MD, the CEO and president of Beth Israel Lahey Health, the product of Lahey Health’s merger this spring with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and several other hospitals in the Boston region. How does Dr. Tabb manage change inside a growing organization that—by his own admission—has to build and implement new tools, processes and the actionable data it needs to evolve beyond the fee-for-service era.

Dr. Tabb was CEO of BIDMC before the merger, and previously served as chief medical officer at Stanford Hospital & Clinics in Stanford, CA, as well as head of the clinical data service division at GE Healthcare IT. Raised in Berkeley, CA, he emigrated to Israel at the age of 18, served in the Israel Defense Forces, studied medicine at Hebrew University’s Hadassah Medical School, and served as a resident in internal medicine at Hadassah Hospital.

Tabb says the most significant challenge for healthcare leaders is “figuring out how to calibrate the pace of change,” in particular the gradual but accelerating change in business models from fee-for-service to outcomes-based global payments, and the shift toward “treating patients as people” and focusing on health rather than sickness. The big question, he says, is “How far ahead of the curve should we get, so that we’re ready for the significant changes to come, but not so far haead that we’ve shot ourselves in the foot and can’t survive the interim period.”

The task requires “constant calibration” and “is more of an art than a science,” Tabb says. But three key tools can help healthcare organizations manage the transition, he says: good, actionable information; incentives (monetary or otherwise) that are aligned among parties; and defined toolkits for change (which could include, but should never be limited to, new technologies).