What happens when you face a once in a hundred year pandemic at one of the major academic medical centers in the second largest urban metropolis in the country? Felipe Osorno knows. He is the executive administrator for Continuum of Care Operations and Value Improvement at Keck Medicine of USC. This episode is a masterclass on how to be a transformational leader during a time of crisis. You’ll get inside the war-room POV as critical decisions about space, staff, stuff ,and systems as the pandemic moved westward to lay siege to Los Angeles in the spring of 2020. He explains how rapid decision-making, teamwork, and more than a little personal heroism allowed the hospital to survive. He talks about the challenges of vaccine distribution, speaking truth to power, and helping to protect healthcare workers who are sacrificing themselves to serve patients. Get a play by play behind the headlines look at the operations of how a major medical system had to course correct in the middle of COVID-19, and what the future holds for major healthcare systems.

Key Highlights:

[00:01 – 07:55] Opening Segment

Public health experts are concerned about the state of healthcare in the United States

The impact of the US government shutdown on people’s lives and how it created fear and uncertainty

The lack of collaboration and communication within the health care system

[07:20 – 19:01] Overcoming Challenges In The Early Days of The Pandemic

Why healthcare professionals need to be agile to respond to changes in the virus

Social determinants of health that need to be addressed to improve healthcare outcomes for patients

How the decision-making process worked during the early days of the pandemic

[19:02 – 27:28] How to Address Mental Health Crisis

Felipe’s journey in implementing a new project management protocol and remote working policy

The way Keck shifted from a linear big-box structure to a more collaborative circle structure

How the team was able to adjust accordingly during the peak of the outbreak

[27:29 – 37:03] In Crisis, Teamwork Drives Vaccine Roll Out

Why Covid-19 helps speed up decision making in healthcare and focus on patient safety rather than politics

How tensions arose during the vaccine rollout in December 2020,

It’s hard to change systems and solve problems when everyone is not solving the same problem

[37:04 – 47:10] Tackling Equity in Vaccination Decision-Making

Keck’s vaccine strategy

Hospitals need to have values-based leadership and make decisions that are in the best interest of their patients

The importance of being transparent and having good communication with the community partners

[47:11 – 59:35] There Are Structural Issues Within Our Health Care System

How hospitals have been compliant with state mandates to provide health care

How testing has been effective in preventing outbreaks, and how the hospital is preparing for future changes

The potential for a disruptive event affecting health care, such as a virus or climate change

[59:35 – 01:15:02] Hospitals Struggle to Keep Up with Rapid Changes in Health Care

Why it is vital to come to the table with clear intent, values, and fewer egos to solve a problem

Felipe’s outlook on if healthcare is a public right or a commodity

Covid-19 shows that getting sick is not the same for everyone: the equity issue

[1:08:57 – 1:15:02] Closing Segment

The other big pandemic is going to be mental health

Want to connect with Felipe? Follow him on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

Key Quotes:

Felipe Osorno – “I don’t think it’s a choice because the problems are going to be there. I’d rather be part of the solution.”

Felipe Osorno – “Whatever the challenge is, we need to come to the table with clear intent, clear values, and less egos.”


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