Senior Director

SharonWard, RN, MS, CEN

With more than 31 years of experience in acute care and outpatient health care, Sharon Ward serves as a senior director within Advisory Board Consulting and Management. In this role, Sharon is responsible for assisting hospitals in the improvement of the efficiency and effectiveness of clinical operations, evaluating productivity, improving throughput, leadership coaching and process redesign. Sharon brings extensive experience in Clinical Operations, Shared Governance, Physician Relationships, Regulatory Preparedness and Data Registry management to the team. Additionally, Sharon participates in strategic planning projects, focusing on clinical program development. Sharon has a track record of successfully building and growing clinical programs, as well as a demonstrated ability to recognize and identify management problems and develop solutions.

Previously, Sharon served as Director of Emergency Department (“ED”), Trauma and Emergency Medical Services (“EMS”) at Advocate Illinois Medical Center in Chicago, Ill., a Magnet designated, urban Level One Trauma Center. In this role, Sharon provided direct administrative oversight, which included 110 FTEs, eight of whom were direct reports. During her tenure at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Sharon accomplished the following:

  • Prepared and monitored operational and capital budgets for 10 years and consistently achieved budget and productivity targets;
  • Served as the Clinical Project Manager for a multi-million dollar, two-year ED renovation project;
  • Implemented the LEAN principles within the ED, which in turn decreased overall length of stay by nine percent (9%); reduced average door-to-nurse time by 42 percent (42%); and reduced the left without treatment rate to the national benchmark;
  • Reengineered the care of behavioral health patients in the ED by forming an interdisciplinary workgroup to account for patients who were boarded up to five days while waiting for state psychiatric bed placement;
  • Implemented a comprehensive case management and financial advocacy program to limit hospital readmissions and link patients to primary care providers.

Sharon also served as Director of Surgical Services at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. The division was comprised of 225 FTEs, with 12 reporting directly to Sharon, and operated under a $50 million annual budget. During her tenure in this position, Sharon coordinated implementation of Cerner’s Surginet electronic medical record (“EMR”) within Surgical Services, developed core productivity and cost per case report, improved on time starts in the main operating room by 50 percent (50%) over baseline, reorganized the block scheduling patterns, and oversaw the capital purchases. In addition, she realigned the leadership structure, including the addition of a business manager, and reengineered the charge capture system within Surgical Services.

Previously, Sharon held a variety of Clinical Operations leadership positions, including Trauma Program Manager, Director of Pre-Hospital Care, House Nursing Supervisor, and On-Call Hospital Administrator, Additionally, she had accountability for house-wide throughput, bed management, multiple outpatient clinics and regional/state disaster preparedness planning

Sharon earned dual master’s degrees: the first in management from National Louis University and the later in nursing administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Additionally, Sharon holds a Bachelor of Science in health science from the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill., and a nursing diploma from Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Sharon maintains a clinical certification in both emergency and trauma nursing and is a frequent regional and national speaker on a variety of topics related to health care.

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