‘Microgovernance’ – the latest fad to hit healthcare boards in the USA?

Here at Healthcare Governance Review we thought that with the introduction of Governance between Organisations, healthcare governance simply couldn’t become more of a ‘muddle.’

We were wrong.

Enter the latest fad to hit healthcare boards in the USA – MICROGOVERNANCE!

‘Microgovernance’ is the subject of a keynote talk by James E. Orlikoff at the US Center for Health Governance winter symposium on leading and governing healthcare organisations. The symposium, titled Rethinking Governance: The  Shifting Roles of Management and Governance takes place in Phoenix, Arizona on 15-18 February 2009.

Mr Orlikoff’s talk, aptly (?) titled ‘Finding Balance on Shifting Sands: Microgovernance and the Changing Roles of the Board and Management’, will examine the difference between governance and management. According to the symposium brochure, Mr Orlikoff believes that “As the forces and challenges affecting health care and the entire economy become more volatile and intense, the role of the board and the distinction between governance and management is quickly changing.There is a rapidly emerging new and necessary component of board work which at first glance seems less like governance and more like micro-management.Yet, this “microgovernance” is now a key and growing component of effective board work. [His] presentation will summarize and synthesize the trends that are driving this significant transition in governance, and outline how boards and CEOs can effectively re-examine and refine a unique and productive governance/management balance that is increasingly essential to ongoing organizational survival and success. It will outline the challenges facing boards which must also integrate microgovernance into their work and balance strategic governance with microgovernance to generate a robust and integrated system of effective governance in an unforgiving environment.”

Elsewhere on the symposium programme there is a presentation on ‘The Relationship between Governance Commitment and Clinical Outcome Performance’ by David B. Pryor,MD, Chief Medical Officer, Ascension Health, St. Louis, Missouri. Ascension Health has, apparently, “demonstrated remarkable clinical performance. As part of that work, they formally assessed the relationship between the commitment and involvement of Ascension Health boards to the quality outcomes observed. Dr. Pryor will describe the quality journey of Ascension Health and connect the outcomes observed to the key role of the board.”

Download the symposium brochure here.

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