Hospitals today face historic levels of economic pressure and broad areas of multi-dimensional uncertainty. It seems that never before has the future been less predictable, unstable or more complex. With so many priorities competing for hospital executives’ attention, CEOs, COOs and CFOs need to be able to rely on a practical blueprint for responding to today’s challenges while taking advantage of tomorrow’s opportunities, according to Tatum Healthcare, the healthcare practice of the nation’s largest executive services firm.
“Don’t lose sight of the fact that many of the old rules still apply in uncertain times,” suggests Terry Peltes, National Managing Partner of Tatum Healthcare. “To position ourselves for the future, the disciplines of revenue growth, improving operational performance, effective cash management and developing managerial capacity as described below, remain proven ways to bolster results.”
Tackle revenue growth
Hospitals are like all businesses – they can’t “cut their way” to success. After a few years of belt-tightening many hospitals should be working on growing revenue in 2011. The first step is to have better information about where current revenues are coming from and the drivers and constraints around growth.Overhaul processes to be more efficient and improve performance Effective procedures are critical to both patient care and achieving financial results, but many hospitals can’t find the time or the expertise to intelligently plan for process changes that can lead to reduced costs or improved patient satisfaction. Achieve sustainable cash management An amazing number of hospitals have yet to improve their patient intake procedures and are using processes that virtually guarantee bad debt. Making changes to processes is the only way to reach sustainable improvement. Adopt a new perspective on talent In an era of extended and dramatic change hospitals need a talented team with the experience and flexibility to quickly adapt and thrive as new challenges emerge. Developing a culture that embraces change and agility at all levels has never been more important. Sometimes the individuals who thrive in a relatively “steady state” are overwhelmed by extreme change. Matching the organization’s dynamics to the approach to people can minimize angst and improve results for both the people and the organization.