Oct. 07 2019

NYC Health + Hospitals Trains Leaders Using Columbia University Health System Simulation

The Thomas P. Ference Health System Simulation, a strategic decision-making and team-building exercise developed at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, has now become part of the leadership training curriculum at NYC Health + Hospitals. The first and only management exercise of its kind, the Health System Simulation will train 90 NYC Health + Hospitals employees over the course of three sessions.

“At NYC Health + Hospitals our leaders have access to a wide variety of training opportunities, and we’re proud to partner with the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health to further expand our curriculum,” says Ivelesse Mendez-Justiniano, Chief Learning Officer at NYC Health + Hospitals. “I feel confident that the Health System Simulation will further strengthen our leadership team’s ability to respond to the challenges of a rapidly evolving healthcare market.”

“As the pace of change in healthcare continues to accelerate, all providers must be leaders, adept at navigating the changing marketplace, and legal, regulatory, and clinical worlds, says John S. Winkleman, director of the Health System Simulation program and the Consulting Practice and a member of the faculty in healthcare marketing at the Columbia Mailman School “Pilots routinely train on flight simulators. In a similar fashion, we have seen how hospital leaders can benefit from our Health Systems Simulation, which immerses participants in a realistic exercise that matches the complexity and intensity of decision-making in a multi-hospital marketplace.”

NYC Health + Hospitals is the second organization to contract with the Columbia Mailman School to offer its Health System Simulation to its leadership, following a similar agreement with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Other organization-specific agreements are expected to be announced in the coming months.

According to the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, the Health System Simulation is the only such simulation available today. Healthcare leaders at a variety of organizations have participated in group simulation exercises offered by the School once a year.

About the Health System Simulation

The Thomas P. Ference Health System Simulation replicates the complexities associated with managing a complex hospital. As part of the exercise, participants are assigned to mock hospital leadership teams in the roles of CEO, chief financial officer, chief medical officer, and chief nursing officer. Through a series of sequential operating cycles, the team makes strategic decisions in operations—for example, how much money to allocate to marketing vs. quality improvements—that affect their organization’s competitive standing. After each round, teams review their performance results and adjust their resource allocations, supported by feedback from a simulation facilitator. Along the way, the teams create a mission statement and benchmark their progress.

Developed in 2009 with the input of healthcare industry leaders, the health system simulation is a part of trainings given to Columbia Mailman graduate students and top executives at organizations, including NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, the American College of Healthcare Executives, Association of University Programs in Health Administration, Barnabas Health, Cedars Sinai, Holy Name Medical Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Mount Sinai Health System, Northwell, Perkins Eastman, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Disney Institute, and KPMG. In surveys, participants report finding the simulation to be a powerful learning activity that improved their strategic decision-making, teamwork, and leadership competencies.