Two weeks ago, members of my senior management team and I traveled to Orlando to attend the 2012 Spring IDN Summit. Before the summit officially kicked off, I sat down with supply chain leaders at some of the top healthcare organizations in the country to get their insight and feedback about their healthcare transportation needs. The conversation was fast and furious and a number of themes emerged. (Italicized comments below were contributed by participants and taken directly from a transcript of our session together.)
I read a blog post recently that I found very insightful. This blog from the Harvard Business Review, reflected on the fact that all too often, management’s first instinct is to attack issues by redrawing the organization chart. Instead, it is suggested, they should look at the inner workings of the company including decision rights, information flow and motivators to understand the “DNA” that makes up their organizations.
As an example, they discuss a company that in the early 1990s had disappointing company performance. Under a restructuring plan, costs fell by 18%, but over the next 8 years, those same layers that had been cut out, crept back in.
The new year encourages us to make a few predictions and set goals for the coming year. As 2012 gets underway, I think it’s safe to say we all expect it to be another demanding year in healthcare.
HealthLeaders recently posted an article titled “4 Unpleasant Predictions for 2012.” While I’m not sure we want to start off the New Year with unpleasantness, a realistic approach is crucial. Using HealthLeaders’ annual survey, as well as her own conversations with healthcare CFOs, the author, Karen Minich-Pourshadi made her predictions for the top concerns facing healthcare financial leaders in 2012.
Those of us in the industry are well aware of the enormous challenges facing U.S. healthcare, but probably no one feels these impending changes more than healthcare CEOs. Recently, Huron Healthcare conducted interviews with hospital CEOs to determine the top five issues keeping them up at night. As reported in Healthcare Finance News last month, the burning issues are:
1. Change management: With the amount of market-driven and reform-driven change affecting healthcare providers, CEOs are troubled by how they can prioritize
MedSpeed CEO, Jake Crampton offers his perspective on why healthcare transportation is an important strategic asset and some tips to help healthcare executives better understand their current operations in “Healthcare transportation: An overlooked opportunity.”
As healthcare reform transitions from an abstract idea to a foregone conclusion, healthcare leaders are focused on uncovering inefficiencies in their systems. Instead of merely slashing reimbursements or providing less care, we have a clear opportunity to do more — and provide the right care — with less waste and less spending. I recently read Mark Graban and Rob Harding’s article Cut Costs by Reducing Redundant or Inefficient Activity, in Hospitals & Health Networks, and agree with them that there is even more hidden waste to cut.
I just returned from the Fall 2011 IDN Summit in Phoenix and I came away feeling pleasantly (hopefully not delusionally!) optimistic about where healthcare is headed. Why? I think that the industry is showing one of the most positive signs of human nature, that at a certain point people simply reject negativism. In fact, studies have shown that one of the causes of the business cycle – in this case the upswing portion – comes from people’s collective unwillingness to indefinitely dwell in the doldrums. The result — a challenge, once feared, becomes something to overcome. It sure felt that way in Phoenix!
An industry survey conducted by HealthLeaders, entitled “Better Care and the Bottom Line,” recently caught my eye. As part of the survey, HealthLeaders asked 289 healthcare executives what they believe are the major drivers of waste in healthcare today and what they believe can help fix the problem. The respondents listed the following as the key contributors to waste:
- Operational inefficiency
- Overutilization of services
- Lack of system integration
I strongly believe that healthcare transportation is one of the missing links in healthcare today – a missing link in improving care quality, accountability and the patient experience. Seeing articles in the news about healthcare transportation gives me confidence that perhaps I am not the only one with that belief.
One such article from the May 2011 cover story of The Journal of Healthcare Contracting titled “Get on the Move!” by Robert Handfield, Ph.D, was especially interesting. In the article, Dr. Handfield reveals the results of his survey of Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs) and Healthcare systems, as well as in-depth interviews conducted with executives and providers. His goal in conducting the study was to learn more about how healthcare leaders satisfy their transportation needs and develop a recommended methodology for tackling this important issue.
At MedSpeed, things have been busy and are getting busier. You may have noticed that we’ve launched a new website in order to better define the role and value of healthcare transportation and showcase our efforts to help move healthcare forward. As part of this next phase, we are seeking to create a dialogue about the future of healthcare, here in the form of a blog.
We have chosen to name this blog “Driving Results” because driving results is exactly what the right healthcare transportation should do: drive better patient experiences and better results for healthcare organizations. Our goal for this forum is to support that mission by engaging and collaborating with you and other like-minded healthcare industry leaders. We hope to work together to become a powerful voice with real impact in moving healthcare forward.