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‘Lean’ approach to health care

"LEAN" is an arduous process, openly dismissed by a lot of medical professionals and frequently unsuccessful, according to experts. Yet some administrators say it could prove critical to hospitals as employers, insurers and government push to control medical spending. 

Lean and Six Sigma refer to methods of improving work processes. Lean typically involves identifying the steps used to bring a product or service to a customer and then eliminating those steps that do not “add value.” Lean is associated with production innovations at Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp.

Managing the Transition to Value-Based Reimbursement

Managing the Transition to Value-Based Reimbursement: 8 Core Strategies to Mind the Gap

There is no shortage of challenges in healthcare today. The "gap" is this awkward period of time when healthcare organizations are being pressured to lower costs and improve quality, but remain paid largely on a fee-for-service system. 

There are many strategies for navigating the transition from a volume- to value-based healthcare system, and the success of each one will depend on individual hospitals' and health systems' cultures and markets.

Why Hospitals Don't Deliver Great Service

Hospitals try to deliver the best health outcomes. That's a given. But many also aim to deliver high levels of customer service. On that latter goal, healthcare systems are falling short. Here's why: Truly improving service demands a culture that intentionally champions a focus on the patient.   

 “Managers must be equipped to drive employee engagement in their departments.”  

What healthcare systems urgently need are clear intentions and strategies at the leadership level.

Governance in our Healthcare organizations

Governance of not-for-profit healthcare organizations is one of the most important and talked about topics today, both in healthcare, EU and in national governments.   

All stakeholders are speaking out about the need for competent, engaged, committed healthcare executives who govern our nation’s healthcare organizations with well thought out governance structures, thoughtful and effective governance processes, and measurable outcomes for their healthcare organizations.   

Do hospitals need private sector interim talent?

When it comes to hiring interims, there is a deeply embedded risk-averse mindset within the healthcare sector, especially hospitals. Most of the current market demand is driven by crisis – performance deterioration, cost pressures, capacity problems – and a Chief Executive needing to correct a problem is more likely to select an interim who has the direct, previous experience of handling a particular problem before, so by default they will already have the hospital experience.   

What that CEO is unlikely to do is choose the radical solution and select a private sector interim, when the consequences of failure could cost them their job.

The patient experience

Despite amazing advances in medicines and medical technology over the past 50 years, health care today is in crisis. Costs are skyrocketing, health outcomes are uneven, and the patient experience is too often unacceptable. It’s time for a power shift in health care. As a society, we have dramatically underestimated the power of ordinary people to transform the system, to take care of their own health, to help develop therapies, and to help solve massive public health problems.   

In the last 100 years, much has changed about our hospitals, health care professionals, and medical technology.

How Hospital Leaders Can Prepare their Systems for Reform

In a time of reform, recession and reimbursement, rethinking how we deliver patient experiences has become one of the biggest priorities amongst hospital executives. Patients judge how well clinicians and physicians communicate with them, how often their needs were attended and how comfortable their care environment is.   

So much evolution in the patient throughput and alignment with changing models leaves gaps in the patient experience that often go unnoticed until it shows up on a satisfaction survey or an error occurs.

Can Europe still afford its healthcare model?

“NO”, Europe can no longer afford its current healthcare cost model as business as usual has killed the business. The time is right and the conditions are in place for a revolution in health care delivery. We all by now see the benefit of moving from a focus on disease care to maintaining health and wellness. Now we have to design a new model with a new role for the health care sector, one that moves beyond saving lives in crisis to improving health while restoring ecosystems and regenerating social and natural capital.

Cross-Generational Healthcare

As individuals age, thoughts about health and related decisions change the receptiveness to healthcare messaging.

EFFECTIVE BUSINESS STRATEGIES WITH GEN-Y: 

■ Demonstrate how health behaviors can affect appearance, attractiveness or general fitness. 
■ Appeal to their abilities to make smart, adult decisions and their awareness of how to live a healthy life. 
■ Include social-responsibility aspects into campaigns; it can be effective, especially if they feel their own actions will make a difference.

Strategies to Help Hospitals Break Even

Here are a few strategies that can help hospitals manage their financials and stay more solvent in the process.  

1. Benchmark productivity metricsby looking within the hospital and making sure all departments are reaching their productivity targets. These include average hourly labor rate, staff overtime pay and several other financial metrics, including operating margin, total margin, per capita cost, net patient revenue per equivalent discharge and more.   

2. Reduce clinical variation through active partnership with physicians.
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