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New Heights in Healthcare


Paradigm Health System’s president shares his secrets to success.


President - Sterling Surgical-21EDITInside the office of a Paradigm Health System physician, they’re hoping you find something a little different — a little more pleasant and relaxing than the standard medical practice. And in the immaculate, elegant Sterling Surgical Hospital, you might just feel (like a recent patient wrote to say) that you’ve entered an upscale New Orleans boutique hotel instead.

Kevin Schneider, president of Paradigm Health System and chairman of the board of Sterling Surgical Hospital, says the secrets to success include better clinical outcomes; friendlier, more personal care; pristine patient-care environments; and a great work culture with invested personnel.

“First and foremost, we pride ourselves on clinical outcomes,” Schneider says. “Everybody likes to be treated like a VIP. If I wait an hour and a half to see the doctor, even if he is the best, I’m not a happy camper. That impacts the well-being of our patient. So we focus on red-carpet, white-glove service.”
Paradigm Fills a Need
A decade ago, when many physicians were fleeing private practice due to economic and competitive pressures from big hospital systems, Paradigm — as its name suggests — wanted to switch the model.

“Our purpose is to provide physicians a bastion to remain viable in a private practice setting,” Schneider says. He explains that most physicians are caught in a conundrum of exchanging time for money, which is less than ideal for optimal patient care. Many are forced to do more in the same amount of time due to declining reimbursement, increases in practice expenses and the arduous process of electronic medical records.

“Our unique model mitigates these pressures and allows our physicians to remain financially viable without sacrificing quality time with patients,” Schneider says. “With Paradigm, good medicine results in good economics.”

The multi-specialty collaborative approach to care is an integral component to Paradigm’s success, Schneider says, which translates to better diagnosis and efficiency in treatment. For example, a neurologist confers with a radiologist in real time to diagnose and then collaborate with a surgeon for expedient treatment. What could take weeks to accomplish in the healthcare field, can be completed in a couple of days.

At Paradigm, the physicians govern the practice, so they have the ultimate say on standards. In addition, physicians are given profit-sharing and equity in the company so at retirement, they are not simply left to the stock market for their future financial security.

But not just any physician is right for the company. “When we add a physician, we make sure they are going to provide high clinical outcomes; that the physician is service oriented; but is first and foremost, a good person,” Schneider says. “Our litmus test is ‘Can I send my mom to any of these physicians and know they are getting the best?'”
Schneider: Behind the Scenes
As the only non-physician in the partnership, Schneider sees himself as a behind-the-scenes workhorse whose efforts go toward one goal: happy people. That includes equal focus on what he sees as his four customer bases: his partners; the company’s employees; the patients they treat; and the patients’ families.

“I swing for the fences to do what I can to make this system successful for my partners … to help a patient make a bad day better … to empower employees to create an environment that affects change for patients and families.” If he won the lottery today, he says he would continue his work because it impacts the community so substantially.

To that effect, Schneider finds himself covering everything from the “20-mile big-vision view all the way down to a 2-inch view, collaborating with employees on a specific situation.” He is directly involved with recruitment, facilitation between the boards and administrators, and incorporating what he calls a Google-like culture of collaboration and fun for employees.
A Sterling Reputation: Everything comes together at Sterling Surgical Hospital in Slidell.

Sterling Surgical Hospital invests in unique and creative ways to incentivize positive attitudes and outcomes for employees. Rewards have included: employee massages; car washes; bonuses throughout the year; meals from a classically trained chef; raffles for house cleaning service; and an inspirational book-of-the-month club.

“With constant motivation, they find more meaning in their work,” Schneider says. “Our patients and their families notice right away. They constantly make a point to comment on it, filling up survey cards, mentioning hard-working employees by name.”

He says Sterling receives a good deal of praise for the hotel-like environment too. ”Patients are really fond of the attractive, pristine setting that helps them forget they’re having surgery,” Schneider says. “They appreciate the central location, and they love how easy and fast it is to get in for surgery after diagnosis.”

Sterling’s physicians have direct control of the operating room schedules, which means less wait for scheduling a surgery. Since the physicians govern the hospital, they select the providers that are integral participants in the surgery: nurses; techs; anesthesiologists. “The surgeon’s surrounding environment allows for optimal performance, which results in better surgical outcomes.”

Schneider sums it up with a mantra that could tie to success in business or life but one he says is definitely working at Paradigm: “Harmonious collaboration translates to exceptional outcomes.”
Paradigm Health System provides care throughout the Southeast Louisiana area with offices in Slidell, Lacombe, Mandeville, New Orleans East and Metairie. Specialists include neurology, interventional pain medicine, orthopedic surgery, podiatry, spinal surgery, radiology specialists and more. For more information, visit paradigmhealth.net