Blog

Frugal Innovation: Healthcare’s Answer to Transformation?

Often, innovation and technology are thought of as the same thing. But, aren’t there ways to innovate that aren’t tied to huge investments in the latest and greatest technology? Innovation isn’t only about “stuff,” it’s also about looking at new or different approaches that can move the needle on productivity and other outcomes.

Along these lines, a recent Becker’s Health IT article caught my attention. The subject was “frugal innovation,” the idea of doing more with less. The healthcare industry is particularly primed to take a serious look at frugal innovation.

Read More

“Farm to Table”: An Innovative Way to Improve Population Health

By Bonni Kaplan DeWoskin, Vice President, Marketing

 

As a marketer, I’m always curious about new and interesting ways organizations—particularly healthcare organizations—market themselves. A recent article in Modern Healthcare about health systems using their food service as part of population health was really instructive.

Historically, when we think of hospital food, we put it on the same caliber as our elementary school cafeteria: edible, but not great.

However, some healthcare organizations around the country have stepped up their food service significantly, with the goal of attracting people who don’t “have to” eat there.

Read More

Why Healthcare Should be Looking for New Opportunities to be Lean

MedSpeed has made Lean Six Sigma part of our culture. We see firsthand the benefits of Lean and its goal of providing value to our customers through a process that minimizes waste.

I’ve written before about Lean principles and how they directly impact the healthcare industry at large. Recently, I was honored to have the opportunity to again write about that impact in a guest blog post for Healthcare Finance. That post discusses intersite logistics, or healthcare transportation, which is what MedSpeed does for a living.

Read More

Transforming Today’s Healthcare Supply Chain

Recently, I read a blog post in Healthcare Finance News that focused on the transformation of the healthcare supply chain.  The authors discussed how different healthcare organizations were utilizing a number of technologies to enhance the effectiveness of their supply chain.

A clear focus on the value chain can deliver a significant return on investment. The authors point out that too often, hospitals utilize their own “homegrown” tools such as Excel spreadsheets, which can compartmentalize data and make it difficult, or nearly impossible to forecast or predict changes in supply chain demand.

Read More

Lean Six Sigma Can Cut Wait Times in the ER

At MedSpeed we benefit from Lean Six Sigma (LSS). Lean Management is the ongoing effort to eliminate or reduce ‘waste’ and Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven method for eliminating defects in any process.

Early on, we adopted LSS as an integral part of our quality management system because the lean philosophy allows us to maximize customer value while minimizing waste. Implementing LSS means we are able to create more value for customers with fewer resources.

And while the methods of LSS were originally developed within the context of manufacturing, they have been successfully applied to other industries, as we know from personal experience. A study earlier this year conducted by Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, looked at whether wait times in hospital emergency rooms/departments could be cut if hospitals utilized Lean Management and Six Sigma techniques.

Read More

The Lessons We Can Learn from RadioShack

I’ve written before about lessons the healthcare industry can learn from the general business community. The story of the eventual collapse of 94-year old RadioShack, as posted by Becker’s Hospital Review, is another great lesson we can learn – and a cautionary tale for us all. As Tamara Rosin wrote:

RadioShack, like all businesses, is not immune to the impacts of changing technology and evolving consumer forces. Adaptability, business savvy, connectivity with consumers and strong leadership are critical for sustaining in a fast-paced market.

Ms. Rosin then goes on to list some key lessons to prevent your hospital from going the way of RadioShack.

Read More

Today’s CFOs Are Strategic Business Partners

I have noticed recently a trend of healthcare CFOs transitioning from the stereotype of a behind-the-scenes number cruncher to key managers who are very involved in daily operations and strategic planning. A recent article in Healthcare Finance News highlights this point.

Today’s CFOs still have an eye for numbers, but their roles are greatly expanded. “They are on the front lines, working with the CEO to develop a strategic plan for their organization, and … to identify growth opportunities,” according to Paul Esselman of Cejka Executive Search.

Read More

Data and the healthcare supply chain

It’s very likely that the healthcare trends we’ve seen over the past couple years – provider and supplier consolidation, reduced reimbursement levels, patient care moving outside the hospital walls and the implementation of and integration of electronic health records (EHRs) – will continue.

As Bruce Johnson wrote last month, “at the core of these trends is a need for quality data so that leaders can make informed, quality decisions.” Mr. Johnson makes a point, I’ve written about before: we are not talking about data for the sake of data. Instead, this is about data that is usefully synthesized to improve the healthcare experience.

Read More

Healthcare System Physical Integration Survey: Is Your System Poised for Success?

MedSpeed recently sponsored a survey of 20 healthcare executives from large systems across the country. Jamie Kowalski, a leading supply chain consultant, conducted the survey, which focused on the physical integration of expanding health systems and how those physical points of connection could be leveraged to deliver more integrated care. It also addressed how systems assess healthcare transportation.

I want to thank those who took the time to complete the survey and provide such valuable information. Historically transportation has been an ‘under-the-radar’ operation for health systems since their focus is the direct delivery of clinical care.

Read More

Can Imitation Be More Beneficial than Innovation? The Answer May Surprise You

Innovation is the engine of change. And, as a recent Harvard Business Review post noted, “Health care is infatuated with innovation.” After all, innovation is how we’ve evolved as a society.

But what about imitation? Can our industry benefit from that?

The HBR post, titled “Health Care Needs Less Innovation and More Imitation” goes on to note that some health systems are emulating an approach adapted by Cisco Systems. Cisco doesn’t just invest in its own research; the company also teams up with partners that have promising products.

Read More