The U.S. Healthcare System is currently wasting an estimated $765 Billion (23% of what is spent) per year due to inefficient operations! Surprisingly, the majority of this waste is not being generated by pricing failures and supply chain issues, but through workflow and labor management deficiencies.
When the ALTIUS team has an initial conversation regarding performance improvement with a hospital’s senior leaders, they are often unsure of what led to their current financial challenges. The reality is that it is never one decision, one hire, or one situation that deteriorates an organization’s bottom line. It can be the choices made day-to-day within the silos of the organizational structure, delaying difficult decisions, and/or a lack of accountability that leads to the overall decline.
Any healthcare consultant that focuses on productivity will tell you the mixed reactions received when sharing that you have been engaged to improve performance. Why are we, as an industry, conditioned to fear a word that brings value, accountability, and increased efficiencies to hospitals and health systems? Historically speaking, productivity was synonymously linked to a reduction in force or layoff. It is no wonder that just the mention of it could send panic across an organization, especially if previous experiences have left staff feeling lost, defeated, and defensive.
The financial impacts of COVID-19 are unprecedented, crippling the operations of most healthcare organizations and leaving leaders to answer serious questions about strategies for stabilization. One of the quickest, most effective solutions is through workforce optimization. Improving performance by enhancing productivity and implementing processes to control labor costs will help hospitals and health systems to rebound in a systematic way that not only meets patient demand but ensures the right resources are in place to provide the best care.
With personnel expense making up more than half of the total operating cost of most hospitals and health systems, it essential to understand how many FTEs your organization truly needs to run efficiently. A Full-Time Equivalent, or FTE, is the sum of all worked or paid hours divided by the total hours in a pay period. For most organizations, that’s 80 hours per pay period or 2080 hours per year.
With the stay-at-home orders beginning to be lifted and life starting to normalize once again, there are many things healthcare leaders need to be cognizant of as the industry enters the recovery phase of this pandemic. Hospital and health system executives need to take stock of what has occurred, identify the impacts, both financially and operationally, and take the necessary steps NOW to prepare for what comes next. Here are a couple of key elements to consider: What waivers and operating flexibilities has your organization taken advantage of over recent months? Though it remains unclear if/when any of the regulatory changes made to create access and ease the delivery of care during this time will expire, plans must be developed to account for all scenarios.
At ALTIUS, the safety, health, and well-being of our clients is our number one priority. As we continue to navigate through these uncharted times and the impact of COVID-19 on day-to-day operations, we want you to know that our team is here to support you. Please read our statement below (click to enlarge).
Productivity and workforce optimization engagements most often start off with the best of intentions. However, there are common missteps that can lead to undesirable results or negative outcomes. In the latest episode of ALTIUS Answers, CEO Stephanie Dorwart and COO RandiLynn Lukac discuss eight key elements to successful performance improvement! When messaged correctly and managed effectively, productivity engagements can create a positive culture of change focused on accountability and process improvement with a big impact.
As the saying goes, “asking for help doesn’t mean that you are weak, it means that you are wise.” Recognizing your organization’s strengths and knowing when an outside perspective is needed to drive greater levels of performance is the forward-thinking attitude that successful healthcare leaders embody. While sourcing the support of a consulting team isn’t always the most “popular” approach, it can be the most effective.
Automation in healthcare is a complicated subject. Most industry leaders are familiar with the benefits, but have strong reservations about the cost and execution. In the latest ALTIUS Answers podcast, CEO Stephanie Dorwart is joined by Richard Mackey, SVP of Information Technology at Intalere, to discuss Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the advancements it is making in both the business and delivery of healthcare.