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.
However, through that same course of small changes over time, hospitals and health systems can instill lasting change. While some decisions may have an immediate impact, performance improvement is not a short-term strategy. It is a continuous process designed to elevate leaders and increase efficiencies. The following are several steps that ALTIUS recommends when building a culture of accountability surrounding your organization’s productivity:
- Make One Change at a Time. In order to undo the mistakes and missteps of the past, start with one small change. Perhaps you begin the journey with small schedule shifts or updates to daily routines to minimize rework and eliminate waste. As you celebrate success, tack on an additional change, then another, and watch the progress. By making simple changes, you can realize immense improvements.
- Prioritize the Time Required. The healthcare environment packs schedules with meetings, projects, and tasks. When balancing priorities, one can easily push-off the most critical activities. Do not delay making necessary changes that impact the future health and wellness of your organization. Elevate performance improvement and change management activities to the top of the to-do list if you want to drive your organization towards a more prosperous future.
- Hire an Accountability Partner. When embarking on a large project requiring intense focus, organizations often benefit from an outside resource/partner to support them as well as a system to track progress and hold leaders accountable for their goals. Through routine meetings to brainstorm operational improvements, the step-by-step action planning process, access to monitoring tools, and consistent communication, individuals are elevated to a new level of accountability and success.