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.

 


 

 

 

Logistic Toxicity

Like the author of a post on Forbes titled “Logistic Toxicity, An Unmeasured Burden Of Healthcare,” I too had never heard of the term “logistic toxicity.” As described, it refers to the difficulty patients who are being treated for cancer encounter when trying to deal with their treatments and the morass of separate bills they receive from separate providers over a long period of time, not to mention coordinating frequent medical appointments, arranging for time off of work, for childcare or caregiving.

All of these logistical requirements can compound the physical and financial toll of this terrible disease and the term “logistic toxicity” really got me thinking about the level of logistic toxicity that exists in our healthcare systems themselves – in addition to the emotional challenges faced by patients and their loved ones.

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Why Questioning the Status Quo Builds Better Leaders to “Think Different”

There’s a post that I read a while back on Inc. that keeps coming back to me. “Why Great Leaders Question the Status Quo: Being a thoughtful, creative leader means moving beyond the confines of tradition,” was written by Micah Solomon.

We all know of great thinkers and business leaders who question the status quo, and Solomon cites the late Steve Jobs of Apple as a prime example. The indelibly memorable “Think Different” advertising campaign that helped bring Apple back from the brink in 1997 completely highlighted the fact that Apple products and its leader were different from the rest of the world.

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What’s Keeping Healthcare CEOs up at Night?

We know that today’s CEOs face unprecedented challenges. New regulations and declining payments are two of the biggest hurdles, but what else keeps healthcare leaders up at night? I recently read a survey from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions that I found very interesting.

The survey asked that very question of CEOs at large hospitals and health systems (greater than $1 billion in revenue). Unsurprisingly, the CEOs anticipate that value-based care (VBC) will reshape the future of healthcare. As hospitals are paid differently, profitability will be harder to achieve.

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The Benefits of Departmental Blurred Lines at Healthcare Organizations

Not too long ago, I wrote about how the role of healthcare CFOs have transformed from being “number crunchers” into strategic business partners within their organizations. A recent article in Becker’s Hospital CFO that focused on two specific healthcare CFOs who have more day-to-day involvement within their organizations, made me want to revisit and further explore this topic of cross-functional engagement.

With readmissions impacting reimbursement, Pamela Hess, CFO of Saint Thomas Midtown and Saint Thomas West hospitals notes that she has gotten far more involved in meetings and initiatives including quality and infection control. While these are not the places we traditionally think CFOs are involved, Hess says she has learned a lot.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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