CEO Spotlight: Q&A With Jane Keller of Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital

Jane Keller, RN, CEO of the Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital in Indianapolis, has been in the healthcare field for more than 20 years, working first as a trained RN in the operating room and later specializing in orthopedics. Here, she discusses some of the decisions, challenges and accomplishments that have shaped her career.

What is the best decision you’ve made in your current position?

The best decision I made as CEO was to surround myself with a knowledgeable management team. They are smart, talented people who share the same values and vision of our organization. They are willing to challenge the conventional wisdom and think creatively and innovatively, and they make me better at my job.

What is the most difficult decision you’ve had to make in your career?

Without a doubt, the most difficult decision for me was to move into administration full time. As a nurse, caring for patients is my passion as well as my profession. I’m thrilled that I accepted the challenge of leading IOH because now I care for my patients in a strategic sense, working with our physicians and our entire staff to create a patient-focused, healing environment.

What is your proudest accomplishment at your organization?

Our proudest accomplishment is achieving our HealthGrades rating each year for total joint replacement, placing us among the top hospitals in the country in this specialty.  This complements our hospital’s HCAHPS results for patient satisfaction, which continues to recognize the overall patient experience at IOH as one of the best in our area. These measurements show that our physicians and staff are committed to providing high quality, patient-focused orthopaedic care to our patients.

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is hearing from our patients that they and their families had a wonderful experience and received wonderful treatment from the staff. These are folks who were in the hospital — and they enjoyed the stay. I read their e-mails and comments, and I’m especially grateful when they recognize the nurses and other caregivers by name.  This allows us to recognize those individuals for the great job they do.

What is the most significant obstacle your organization has faced and how did you overcome it?

The ongoing legislative battle with those who want to close physician-owned hospitals. As the CEO of a hospital owned by physicians, I continually struggle to understand why opponents of physician ownership — which has a century-long tradition in this country — want to deny patients greater and more convenient access to high-quality care in a patient-focused setting and threaten the economic contribution we make to our communities.

What do you anticipate as the biggest challenge you will face in the future?

Our biggest challenges in the next few years will be surviving the challenge to physician ownership; continuing to provide the level of care we committed to when we opened IOH, while facing the unknown of healthcare reform; and the issue decreasing reimbursements for that care. In addition, patients are becoming sophisticated healthcare consumers who will be ‘shopping’ for their healthcare needs in the next several years. We will have to be creative in gaining our share of that market.

What is one thing that you wished you would have known before taking on this position?

That my life would be consumed with meetings!

What is your biggest goal for your organization in the upcoming year?

Our biggest goal is delivery of safe, high quality care to our patients. We also continue to maximize operational efficiencies at IOH, making sure we are prepared for the healthcare reform that is coming. We continue to look at supplies, implants and contracts to make sure we are getting the best value for our dollar — which helps lower the cost of healthcare overall.

Learn more about Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital at

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