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Sharp begins reorganization, says frontline workers won’t be affected

Facing the same financial headwinds that have recently plagued the entire medical industry, Sharp HealthCare is moving forward with a reorganization plan that consolidates executive leadership under a regional strategy.

Rather than continuing to employ individual CEOs at each of its hospitals, Sharp is “unifying” the leadership of its Grossmont, Chula Vista and Coronado campuses under one leader while also connecting its Serra Mesa “metro” hospitals to a single drawbar.

While the region’s largest single health system has long centralized many aspects of its business, from ordering supplies to processing medical tests, its seven hospitals generally operate under what Sharp describes as a “partially decentralized structure.” , according to a statement from Chris Howard, president of Sharp.

According to Brett McClain, vice president and chief operating officer of Sharp, placing multiple hospitals under one regional leader is designed to foster greater collaboration across a larger region.

“I think about it in two ways, both in driving consistency and in finding those operational efficiencies and also, in a way, being more agile and being able to make quicker and more active decisions. “, said McClain.

Scott Evans, CEO of Grossmont since 2015, assumes primary leadership roles for the Chula Vista and Coronado campuses.

Sharp Memorial Hospital along with Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns in the system, Sharp Mesa Vista Behavioral Health Hospital and Sharp McDonal Center, which specializes in addiction and recovery, will now fall under the jurisdiction of Trisha Khaleghi. The executive already ran the three specialty hospitals, all of which are located adjacent to Memorial on Sharp’s San Diego metropolitan campus near Serra Mesa.

Sharp is also creating a new “chief nursing executive” position to be filled by Susan Stone, a PhD in nursing and former chief executive officer of Sharp Coronado. Dr. Amy Adome, senior vice president of clinical effectiveness at Sharp, will become the first clinical and system transformation leader.

These roles, McClain said, will work with Sharp’s new Prebys Innovation and Education Center soon to open near the supplier’s Kearny Mesa headquarters.

The 70,000 square foot building will include high-tech “immersion labs” where employees can update their skills and a 375-seat auditorium will provide ample capacity to host industry conferences.

These resources, McClain said, speak to a new reality in health care: With such competition for dwindling numbers of workers, providers will increasingly need to expand their own.

“We need to do a much better job of helping this new hire envision a real career, you know, by addressing what you want to be doing in the next three to five years and the next five to 10 years,” McClain said.

He added that the reorganization plan should not lead to layoffs, although some changes are happening on the management side. Frontline workers should not be affected.

Sharp, like the vast majority of healthcare companies in the United States, is currently experiencing more fiscal turmoil than it has seen in years, with its latest disclosure to bondholders indicating that it has recorded a operating loss of $1 million in its third fiscal quarter. . Although the company is still up $32 million for the first nine months of its fiscal year, that’s a slim margin for an organization with an annual budget of more than $4 billion in 2021.

Nathan Kaufman, chief executive of Kaufman Strategic Advisors, a San Diego-based health care consulting firm, said the reorganization mirrors others that have happened in the United States this year.

The underlying problem, he said, is that competition for frontline workers is so fierce that wages have risen dramatically. In the current environment, he said, it’s difficult to cut costs without risking critical workers such as nurses simply putting their talents to the nearest competitor.

“About 65% of hospitals in the United States are going to end up with a negative margin this year, and the reason for that is that, generally speaking, revenues are flat and expenses are up about 10%, mainly due personnel costs,” says Kaufman.

Across the country, he said, many health care providers are stepping down, closing satellite facilities or cutting programs.

“I have a hospital client who has limited capacity because if he opens more beds, he has to hire more traveling nurses and he will lose more money,” Kaufman said.

In San Diego, he added, the personnel situation is feeding on itself.

“You see this kind of circular situation happening where one of the big four, which is Kaiser, Scripps, Sharp and the university, will raise their salaries,” Kaufman said. “It will create a flow of employees to that employer and as soon as that happens one of the others will raise their rates.

“You have this kind of vicious cycle going on.”

California Daily Newspapers

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