There is quite a bit of hand wringing going on in healthcare. What new regulations will be proposed? How will the shifting tectonic plates of insurance, pharmaceuticals, government and patient care impact all parts of the healthcare ecosystem? Where are all the costs savings going to come from for all of this?
Added to these questions are a number of basic cultural and organizational differences that hospitals face that simply aren’t in other industries. One example is the dichotomy between academic and business attitudes, especially in research hospitals. Another is the highly specialized skillsets of the workforce and the strongly decentralized department structures. These factors and many more have locked much of the industry into a wait and see mindset, assuming that holding fast will help prioritize the appropriate actions.
Some however, are bucking that trend. Our clients are seeing the state of flux, as a critical time to take stock in what they have and more importantly the initiatives that are underway or are in planning. This realization is coming not just from the typical champions of governance (IT and Operations), but is being championed across organizations and in the C suite. Simple planning steps such as understanding all of the initiatives across departments that impact a hospital campus can save thousands.
We’ve seen a couple cases where a hospital has two initiatives running concurrently 1) IT upgrading network connectivity and 2) Plant/Facilities refreshing rooms – and you guessed it, the network cables were set in place and then summarily ripped out as the rooms were redone. The decentralized nature of most hospitals opens the door for many similar situations that can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars to be wasted. Dollars that could be saved by a light weight governance solution that categorizes initiatives and then quickly review of those that might intersect across departments.
How will the entire proposed healthcare “reforms” turn out? Even the most experienced pundits are still debating the final outcome, but with a focus on improved communication, governance and transparency throughout your organization, you will be ready to weather the seismic shifts that are approaching.