ALTIUS is excited to announce a brand-new interview series, ALTIUS Answer/Asks! Over the next few months, we will be featuring discussions with members of our team as well as with industry experts to provide a fresh perspective on productivity, performance improvement, and workforce optimization in the current healthcare environment.
Our first installment, an ALTUS Answers interview with ATLIUS COO RandiLynn Lukac, delves into some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about
our customized services/solutions.
- Why should a hospital/health system engage a consulting firm to support their improvement initiatives? If the goal is to save money, wouldn’t it be more cost-effective to handle these projects internally?
- There are multiple, excellent reasons to engage a consulting firm. While an internal plan may look fantastic on paper, the execution and implementation of the plan often falls apart and loses momentum quickly. Engaging a consulting firm allows the experienced professionals the opportunity to guide the process, hold everyone accountable, and be an outside force driving results. Hospital executives are pulled in a multitude of directions before 9am on any given day. With the partnership of consultants, the senior leaders can focus on other priorities, having confidence in the firm chosen to get the job done. The ROI on our engagements averages a 10+:1 which means that if we can reduce turnover by two RNs or prevent job creep by one FTE, the project has more than paid for itself.
- How can you be sure that the comparative data developed for a client organization is “apples to apples” with the operations of that facility?
- This is a common question and one that I can respect. It can be intimidating to be “sized up” against your peers with the percentile comparisons being a reflection of your performance. It’s human nature to want to defend your team and negate the peer group. When we develop a customized comparative group, the first goal is to query a sample that is large enough to be statistically sound. A group of four hospitals is not a strong size for solid comparison. Second, the group needs to include organizations that are similar in service and structure. Do we need to include Behavioral Health? OB/Women’s? Rehab? Do we need peers with a particular Trauma designation? Once the peer group is developed, we consider it the foundation of benchmarking and the starting point for assessment. It is almost impossible to find an exact match, but that isn’t the goal of the exercise. The goal is to create a performance range for comparison purposes. If your organization/department falls outside of the range, let’s talk about why.
- Can an effective assessment of current state and potential opportunity be completed in the new virtual setting?
- Absolutely! While this approach was a little daunting at the start of the pandemic, the ALTIUS team and our clients embraced the opportunity to continue performance improvement efforts despite the situation. While a physical, on-site consulting preference may be preferred, strong rapport can still be built and exceptional services provided with the same great outcomes in the virtual environment. Many healthcare leaders have now adopted the virtual meeting platform as part of their routine management practices and prefer the project savings this approach delivers.
- What tools/services does ALTIUS provide to guide the implementation of productivity goals that are different from competitors?
- I think the biggest differentiator or value-add with ALTIUS is that we provide a comprehensive and collaborative approach from start to finish. There are great companies out there that can deliver a wealth of data and effective benchmarks as well as those that provide consulting services. There are NOT many healthcare-specific consulting firms that are a one-stop shop! Everything that we do is rooted in education with the goal of elevating department leaders to have more confidence in the business of healthcare. This approach requires our experts to start at the beginning with the assessment, partner through change management and the implementation of process redesign, and then the provide the continuous support needed to sustain performance levels. We often tell our clients that we don’t go away, and that’s a good thing! The goal is for managers to rely on us as a resource for success!
Join us next month for the second ALTIUS Answers/Asks segment where our team will be gaining insight on trending topics and industry challenges from a seasoned healthcare executive and nurse educator! In the meantime, to learn more about our services, reach out directly here or visit our website at www.altiushcg.com.