As findings from the American College of Healthcare Executives’ annual survey regarding issues top of mind among hospital CEOs revealed earlier this year, economic challenges remain the most pressing concern affecting healthcare organizations today.
That being said, there are a number of measures hospital executives can take to address financial issues head on, according to Wipfli, LLP. Read on to learn about five strategies recommended by the accounting and business consulting firm that are geared to help facility leaders achieve performance improvement and sustainable results at their hospitals.
- Use data to establish in which areas (and in what manner) suitable modifications to staffing should be made to increase efficiency and decrease expenses. Regulators to consider include staffing to demand, skill-mix changes, and capacity utilization.
- Assess the current organizational structure to pinpoint circumstances where tiers of management and supervisory jobs can be reduced. Start by putting together a plan to reorganize the entire leadership structure in effect to focus on impending operational and tactical challenges as well, instead of simply cutting positions.
- Consider engaging the services of professionals who—together with department managers—can distinguish and create concepts for better operations and lower costs. Providing decision makers with training, tools, and support to effectively oversee their divisions and promptly respond to serious matters can make a significant, positive impact on a facility’s bottom line.
- Optimize core processes. Core practices, from patient flow to emergency department operations, are essential to staff accountability, effective communication and teamwork between departments, and physician engagement. Using “a nonbiased, data-driven approach to identify key areas for improvement and allow all stakeholders the opportunity to objectively assess their current role and realize how they may be contributing to inefficiencies” allows for a productive environment, according to Wipfli, LLP partner David Kim.
- Review supply chain management costs and expenditures unrelated to labor to determine further opportunities for reductions. This approach can improve quality, too. Areas to evaluate include medical/surgical supplies, purchased goods and services, and floor stock.