In today’s turbulent market, health care organizations, ranging from brand new ASCs to long-established hospitals, are facing the challenging task of controlling the unsustainable cost of care while at the same time improving both the quality of care and access for millions of patients. And while different care organizations are tackling this challenge in a variety of ways, those that are seeing the greatest success from their efforts tend to share a number of consistent attributes and characteristics. As outlined in a recent article from leading health care advisory firm GE Healthcare Camden Group, 10 of the most important qualities shared by these high-performing organizations include:
A commitment to continuous learning
High-performing organizations in today’s shifting health care landscape understand the importance of having one eye on the current environment and another on the future change trajectory. By continually taking the pulse and measuring the impact of the political, economic, social, and technological factors affecting their activities, these organizations are able to identify where trends are headed and what organizational changes are required to stay ahead of the curve.
A bold and inspiring vision
Incremental change may be sufficient for health care organizations that are just trying to keep up with market changes, but high-performing organizations want dramatic, transformative change that turns our current inadequate system on its head. Rather than simply being prepared for change when it hits them, these organizations actively seek out and embrace change management, turning their bold vision for the future into a competitive advantage.
Agility and adaptability
Change happens quickly these days, and today’s leading health care organizations know that flexible, opportunistic strategies are needed in order to thrive. High-performing organizations focus on developing strategic objectives for a one- to three-year time frame, with a particular emphasis on goals for the most immediate year in order to maximize their ability to shift course and adapt when unexpected changes strike the market.
A respect for actionable information
Data is driving many fields these days, including health care, and successful organizations have figured out how to translate their data into transparent, actionable information and valuable insights. By leveraging data analytics in order to gain a strategic market position, high-performing organizations are better placed to achieve key objectives such as improving network-wide access to care, evaluating the ROI of clinical programs, and understanding cross-network referral patterns.
Prioritizing financial discipline is an essential step for organizations seeking to balance capital needs against financial capabilities while meeting their vision and mission. High-performing health care organizations are committed to implementing a financial and capital planning process that is well-integrated and strategic, and developing clearly defined annual and five-year financial goals.
Given that labor typically comprises at least half the expenses of any hospital or health system, a failure to deploy staff at their highest and best use is one of the leading causes of wasteful health care spending. High-performing organizations understand this and respond—not by seeking to reduce salaries or benefits—but rather by working to engage their staff from the ground up in order to optimize staffing. By identifying and implementing best practices in talent management, workforce management, and human capital operation, leading organizations can create greater value across their entire human capital chain.
Planning is one thing, while effective implementation and execution is another. While many organizations struggle with how to turn their vision into reality, leading organizations motivate themselves by increasing their accountability at both the organizational and local level. By creating platforms for bi-directional owner-sponsor input for any given imperative, project, or task, high-performing organizations hold themselves accountable for the goals they set out to accomplish and consequently improve the effectiveness of their transitions.
A patient-centric approach
High-performing health care organizations put patients, rather than other considerations, at the heart of their operations. These organizations prioritize best practices like standardizing care processes, embracing clinical protocols, delivering seamless patient access, and maximizing operational efficiency in order to broaden and deepen their ongoing improvement efforts.
Creative partnerships are becoming an increasingly important tactic used by high-performing organizations to create and increase value for patients and communities alike. Whether with other providers, payors, employers, clinical technology companies, or other key stakeholders, partnerships and joint ventures can help organizations to better connect the different pieces of our fragmented system of care delivery in order to improve costs, access, quality outcomes, and the overall patient experience across the entire care continuum.
A focus on system integration
High-performing organizations understand how important economies of scale and scope are to driving value and improving quality. By prioritizing system integration, these organizations work to implement a unifying vision and strategy that align different system areas and streamline operational processes while eliminating both gaps and redundancies. Such organizations tend to employ a customized, back-end approach to system integration, identifying and focusing on a few key priority areas that will deliver the highest value for an organization.