Dr. Swensen is dedicated to the support of thoughtful leaders and teams that have the capability to nurture esprit de corps. He is a recognized, well-published expert in leadership and professional burnout.
For 3 decades he served patients at the Mayo Clinic. As Director for Leadership and Organization Development, he co-led professional burnout work and oversaw the development of 4,100 physicians and scientists and 232 key leaders. As Director for Quality, he established the Quality Academy and the Value Creation System. More than 37,000 colleagues were certified as Quality Fellows during his tenure. As Department Chair, he and his team used Lean-Sigma and Baldrige to create value for patients.
He serves as a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement where his focus is Joy in Work. He works as the Leadership Theme Leader and member of the NEJM Catalyst Board.
A full professor, he has been Principal Investigator of two NIH Grants and has authored two books and 186 peer-reviewed articles. He was honored with the Diamond Quality Fellow Lifetime Achievement Award. Swensen served as President of two international professional groups. He founded the Big Sky Group and the Sun Valley Roundtable.
Swensen holds a Master of Medical Management from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School and is a trained Executive Coach. He has served as a Director on two Boards and as a member of the Mayo Clinic Management Team. He has started two businesses.
Swensen has been married for 41 years, has two children and has run or cross-country skied 39 marathons.
Clinician engagement is vital for improving clinical quality and patient satisfaction, as well as the job satisfaction of clinicians themselves. Yet nearly half of health care organizations are not very effective or not at all effective at clinician engagement.
Although three-quarters of Insights Council survey respondents say culture change is a high or moderate priority at their organizations, survey results show a lot of work on organizational culture remains to be done.
Insights Report by Stephen Swensen & Susan M. Robel
Nurses are traditionally the backbone of patient care. They form the largest percentage of the health care workforce, far outstripping physicians. But are nurses leaders as well as doers?
Can anyone in health care build a high-performing team? What does it take to build one?
Where does changing the culture of medicine begin?
We know what leaders need to do more of to create a culture of grit. But what should they stop doing?
Esprit de corps is the single most important indicator in which health care organizations have control over patient experience, outcomes, safety, and cost. How to get there? By co-creating quality.
Health care is rife with metrics and rating systems that purport to differentiate the good, bad, and mediocre. Every clinician and leader wants to be affiliated with a high-performing organization. But what constitutes high performance in health care?
Clinician burnout is far from being eliminated at health care organizations, but leaders, frontline physicians, and nurses are joining forces to get to the roots of the crisis.
An NEJM Catalyst Insights Council survey finds that clinicians and leaders do not see eye-to-eye on many aspects of health care delivery.