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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Healthcare Leaders Look to Manage Costs and Reduce Variation

Our healthcare industry finds itself in a period of uncertainty. No one knows what the future of payment/insurance reform will be. Regardless of where things land, a new survey of health system leaders conducted by Premier Inc. found that managing costs is their top priority.

Coverage of the survey in Healthcare Finance noted that C-suite executives are focused on improving productivity and reducing supply chain inefficiencies, pharmaceutical costs and clinical variation.

Another priority in the C-suite, according to the survey, is moving from meaningful use to meaningful insight. Systems are looking beyond recording data and are increasingly integrating and combining data to streamline analytics on supply chain, financial and clinical care.

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How to Move from a Holding Company to an Operating Company

It’s the key for health systems to achieve economies of scale

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of participating in a panel at Becker’s Hospital Review 8th Annual Meeting with Khosrow Shotorbani, president and CEO of TriCore Reference Laboratories, Bill Santulli, EVP and COO of Advocate Health Care and Mark Dixon, president of The Mark Dixon Group and former regional president of Fairview Health Service. We spoke about the nationwide trend of health systems moving from a holding company model to an operating company model and all agreed that this trend will continue to accelerate.

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Driving Transportation Logistics to the Next Level to Create Systemness

Recently, our work with client Inova Health System, was the focus of a feature article in Greenhealth Magazine, the publication of Practice Greenhealth.

Inova Health System, based in northern Virginia, is a complex network of hospitals, outpatient facilities, physician practices, and health and wellness initiatives that serves more than 2 million people a year. The breadth of services provided makes for an equally complex method of getting physical materials—blood samples, lab results, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, supplies and more—from one location to another.

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First Things First: True health system integration requires big picture focus

One option to getting things done quickly is to just dive in. And in some cases, that is the best option. However, in a recent H&HN post, author Jeff Jones, urges healthcare organizations attempting to eliminate redundancies and create true integration to resist that instinct. Healthcare leaders who think that integration “is simply a series of operational assignments and a redrawing of the org chart” couldn’t be more wrong.

Jones argues that the process should focus on the purpose of integration and what is going to be measured.

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ISO and Taking Better Care of Patients

ISO is the International Organization for Standardization, an independent organization with a membership of 163 national standards bodies that brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant international standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges. ISO-certification is something we pursued as an organization because of the value it brings to us and our clients. It means we meet quality and reliability standards that reduce costs by minimizing waste and errors AND increase productivity.

Recently, Sentara Healthcare—a 12-hospital system, based in Virginia and North Carolina—adopted quality-management principles across its system that are based on a specific standard ISO 9001—continual improvement. Hospitals & Health Networks notes that the system is one of the first to take a system-focused approach using the non-healthcare-originated ISO 9001 standards.

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The “Always-On” Supply Chain

The “2016 MHI Annual Industry Report,” developed in collaboration with Deloitte, looks at the key changes in supply chain. This year’s report covers a number of disruptive technologies affecting the supply chain and reflects the views of almost 900 supply chain leaders. 

The key focus of the report is the concept of the “always-on” supply chain, which is described as “an integrated set of supply networks characterized by a continuous, high-velocity flow of information and analytics, creating predictive, actionable decisions that better serve the customer.” The report points out that the always-on supply chain has the potential to deliver significant economic and environmental rewards, which should encourage further innovation.

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