Driving Results Blog

By Jake Crampton

The Driving Results Blog is a space for MedSpeed’s CEO, Jake Crampton, to share insights about a variety of healthcare topics. Occasionally, other members of the MedSpeed leadership team will use this space to discuss matters of particular importance to them.

 


 

 

 

Is the ‘Sharing Economy’ the Disrupter Healthcare Needs?

Tech startups pioneered the “sharing economy,” allowing people to repurpose their assets to provide a variety of goods and services, such as a shared car ride, bike or place to stay. It’s very beneficial to take this concept of sharing assets one step further and look at in the context of systemness and how sharing makes healthcare more efficient.

According to industry reports, equipment utilization in healthcare could be as low as 40 percent. What if instead of medical and surgical equipment being viewed as fixed assets that belong to a facility or even a specific hospital wing or operating room, forward-looking leaders examined ways to share equipment across growing networks, so those valuable assets aren’t sitting around underused?

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The Answer to Innovative Healthcare? It’s Probably Outside the Walls of Your Hospital

South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX, has gained a reputation as a conference where cutting edge technology and ideas are launched. To give you an idea, 11 years ago Twitter launched at SXSW. So, it’s not surprising that other hot ideas—including those related to healthcare—were being discussed in Austin last month.

On opening day of SXSW, there was a panel discussion that included three execs from UPMC discussing how their organization is piloting a program whereby UPMC becomes a strategic investor in healthcare-related start-ups.

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How the Barrier Between Competitors and Collaborators is Changing in Healthcare

As a panelist at the upcoming Becker’s Hospital Review 9th Annual Meeting, I was asked my thoughts on what’s happening in healthcare today. To my eyes, one of the most interesting developments is how the barrier between competitors and collaborators is changing.

Today, everything in healthcare points toward value and enhanced patient/customer experience. To succeed, healthcare companies realize there is value in letting go of their desire to control all functions. Instead, they are exploring opportunities to collaborate both with each other and with outside entities to create greater value.

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Improve Outcomes and Cut Costs: Standardize and centralize to hit the sweet spot

Variation is in the crosshairs of the Triple Aim. Whether in the form of differing lengths of stay, unnecessary emergency care or variant lab test processing times, variation can impact disparities in quality, outcomes and patient experience.

Standardization initiatives that focus on the clinical layer but overlook how problems in support functions like printing or food service create variations in care, are missing opportunities for standardization.

To read more about eliminating variation to meet the Triple Aim, read my most recent blog post on Modern Healthcare.

Intra-Company Logistics: It’s More Than Getting from Point A to Point B

By Wes Crampton, Chief Operating Officer, MedSpeed

Increasingly, providers are re-thinking healthcare transportation because a single delivery delay, a mishandled specimen or a missed delivery can be costly in terms of actual dollars, impact to the patient experience and market reputation. Such errors are estimated to cost providers an average of $600-700 per error (or more). With an industry average of 500 to 1000 errors per million stops, errors can cost providers hundreds of thousands of dollars. (Shameless plug: MedSpeed’s error rate is only 38 errors per million stops).

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Collaboration is the Key to Effective Strategic Partnerships

The best strategic partnerships develop when organizations recognize that an expert partner can be better positioned to provide a vital function in the joint pursuit of a desired outcome. The big picture is not about making marginal improvements to existing systems. It’s about collaborating to imagine new processes.

I’ve written before about Vested® outsourcing—a methodology that guides the creation of highly collaborative supplier partnerships, based on achieving mutually defined desired outcomes. When companies collaborate in a way that that aligns the buyer and supplier’s interests to business outcomes, it creates true win-win outsourcing because the parties are vested in each other’s success.

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Building systemness in an expanding footprint

In this new age of healthcare industry consolidation, it’s more important than ever to think about how materials, supplies and equipment are moved within your organization. Systemness  enables organizations to centralize or share services like clinical labs, print shops, mailroom or other operations, with the ultimate goal of creating cost savings and synergies.

But centralization is only the first step. How those items are distributed to various facilities is equally as important because the benefits of consolidating those services could be lost if your logistics network is creating additional costs or inefficiencies.

Read more about how intra-company logistics helps organizations attain systemness in our blog post in Modern Healthcare .

 

Use Your Data for Strategic Impact on Value

We live in a world overflowing with data. I’ve written before about big data and the danger of focusing on data to the exclusion of driving meaningful insights. Without using data effectively, we can’t affect positive change.

The HealthLeader’s report, Impactful Analytics: Driving Clinical, Financial, and Cultural Change had some excellent insights on how healthcare organizations can utilize data to drive meaningful change and create value. HealthLeaders noted: “Developing operational and strategic imperatives from all that data is dependent upon analytics…Leaders are making critical decisions on the tools that will help them make sense of their data to not only drive smart clinical decision-making, but to allocate scarce resources toward gaining efficiency and competing on cost.”

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Intra-company Logistics: The Missing Link to Systemness, Higher Quality Care

Many healthcare organizations strive to achieve systemness, but not all have been able to create “the desired future state of complex healthcare delivery systems — that deliver patient-focused, seamless and high-quality care across the many parts of a system to maximize value for customers.”

Growth alone won’t guarantee the benefits a system can achieve through scale and acting as one, integrated system. It takes work. And just like building a house, it all starts with a strong infrastructure and foundation.

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Savvy Health Systems Focus on the Basics to Achieve Higher Goals By Taking “Systemness” to the Next Level

We just published the second in a series of articles that I’ve co-authored with Dave Johnson, CEO of 4sight Health. The article examines systemness and how intra-company logisitics facilitates the success of healthcare organizations to become “one entity.” Below is an excerpt from the article, and you can click here to read the full article.

Football is a “system” sport. Offense, defense and special teams function as distinct units with their own coaches, schemes and measures of success. But teams that win the Super Bowl bring those distinct units together to operate as one entity, a winning team.

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