Healthcare Leader: Daniel Eichenberger, MD, Floyd Memorial Hospital & Health Services

Eichenberger_DanDaniel Eichenberger, MD, MBA

President and CEO at Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services

Education: MD from the University of Louisville School of Medicine; MBA in Health Care Management from Indiana Wesleyan University

Hobbies: I enjoy hunting, bass fishing and teaching and playing cards with friends.  I also enjoy movies and date nights with my wife.  We love spending time with our grand kids and encouraging their music and activities.

What was your first job in healthcare?  What did you take away from that job that you use today?

I began working at Floyd Memorial in 1978 in Environmental Services emptying garbage, picking up linens, stripping, waxing and performing routine floor care.  I learned how important everyone’s job is in healthcare, from entry level positions to upper level administration.  It has kept me grounded and focused on decisions and how they affect everyone and not just select groups.

How do you approach management and leadership at Floyd Memorial?

I am primarily a faith-driven, servant leader.  I strive to display many qualities of successful leaders including character, commitment, competence, focus, discernment, initiative, passion, problem solving, responsibility, positive attitude and self-discipline.  I believe I am an honest and fair leader, and always responsive to my peers, the hospital staff, patients and families.  My time-management skills are exceptional and I perform well in a fast-paced environment.  I hold my team accountable for projects and actions and provide valuable feedback upon solicitation.  My organizational skills are exceptional, displayed at the present time by juggling the CMO/CMIO, CEO position and physician duties on a daily basis.

What is your very best skill — the thing that sets you apart from others?

My best skill is my ability to make decisions confidently, efficiently and consistently based on sound moral principles and a wide range of knowledge and experience.  I multitask extremely well and have exceptional time-management skills.

What was the most significant event/development at Floyd Memorial in 2015?

The most significant event was educating and convincing the Board of Trustees of the need to proactively seek out a merger/affiliation while we are in a position of strength.  It has allowed us to be very selective in our partner selection and presented us with exceptional offers which will set up our hospital for long term success meeting the needs of the county and surrounding areas.

How do you revitalize yourself?

I love reading and studying Christian apologetics and I regularly read Maxwell’s leadership bible for encouragement and guidance.  In October and November I look forward to deer hunting and love watching nature come to life in the mornings with the sunrise.

What’s one piece of advice you remember most clearly?

Do everything to the best of your abilities as a gift back to God.  Keep a positive attitude and do things right the first time.

If you could eliminate one of the healthcare industry’s problems overnight, which would it be?

If there was one thing to eliminate, it would be the intrusive government regulations that prohibit the free market from being able to fix many of the problems which exist.  It has been said “the bigger the government, the smaller the people.”  I have confidence in the American people and feel putting them back in charge of their first healthcare dollar and increasing personal accountability is the way to maximize the quantity and quality of healthcare.

What opportunities do you see for Floyd Memorial in 2016?  Challenges?

With partnership/affiliation, we have the opportunity to expand hospital services, maintain financial viability and become the premier regional healthcare provider in southern Indiana.  Challenges will continue to be securing and maintaining adequate and qualified staffing in this very competitive environment.  We will continue to develop new ways to set us apart as the preferred place to work.

As a leader, we all face many challenges.  What challenges do you face in your role that are unique because you work in healthcare?

The current challenges are mainly related to trying to remain profitable in an ever-changing environment with new payment structures including capitation, pay-for-performance, and population health management.  The increased government and third party mandates as well as meaningful use requirements make it increasingly difficult to provide care and maintain adequate margins for growth and expansion.

Where do you do your best thinking?

I do not require a lot of sleep and therefore my best thinking probably occurs as I am lying in bed waiting to fall asleep and in the early morning as I await to get up.  I nearly always awake before the alarm goes off and therefore have more opportunity for planning and strategizing before the day begins.