May the Productivity Be With You: How Hospitals Can Learn From Star Wars (Episode II)

In healthcare, productivity is crucial for managing labor costs and providing quality patient care. At ALTIUS, we offer benchmarking and operational improvement services to help hospitals work smarter, not harder. In Episode I of “May the Productivity be with You,” we covered the importance of embracing technology and training your team, but what else can we learn from a galaxy far, far away? The Star Wars universe provides valuable insight into standardized processes and collaboration. 

By drawing lessons from Star Wars, healthcare organizations can explore innovative ways to improve productivity, reduce costs, and enhance the quality of care. Embracing new ideas and approaches is critical for the continued success of healthcare systems. Join us as we explore Episode II of how the Force can guide us toward a more efficient and effective healthcare future. 


Standardization is critical to any successful organization, which is no different in the Star Wars universe. The Empire is a prime example of this, as they have implemented standardized processes across their entire organization, from military strategy to logistics and supply chain management. This has allowed them to achieve high efficiency and consistency and maintain control over the galaxy for many years.

Similarly, standardized processes are essential in hospitals for efficient and effective operations. Healthcare is a complex and constantly evolving field, and having consistent processes and procedures is critical to providing safe, high-quality care. Standardization can eliminate waste, streamline workflow, and create a healthy environment. Benefits can be gained from the standardization of everything from medical procedures and equipment protocols to consistent communication and documentation practices.

Achieving and maintaining productivity in healthcare is a collaborative effort. It requires constant attention and a long-term commitment to improvement strategies. Healthcare leaders must continuously monitor performance and adjust processes to align staffing levels and patient volume. This is critical to sustainability in today’s challenging healthcare environment.

The biggest productivity challenge is often complacency. Healthcare organizations that neglect productivity or resist change are at risk of failure. Doing nothing is still a choice and can damage financial and operational performance. Strong leaders recognize that having reasonable goals and a system to manage improvement strategies is essential to continued success.

Real-Life Example: 

UPMC Somerset, a 100-bed acute care facility in rural Pennsylvania, faced decreasing financial margins due to shifting reimbursement practices and competition from nearby Pittsburgh industry powerhouses. To address these challenges and ensure future sustainability, UPMC Somerset engaged ALTIUS Healthcare Consulting Group to conduct a labor-management initiative to align patient demand with staff utilization properly. Through a customized process combining comprehensive data analysis, customized benchmarking, implementation strategies, and continued monitoring, ALTIUS helped UPMC Somerset enhance overall productivity through standardized processes. 

The improvement goals were outlined, and staffing guides and other tools were introduced to aid leaders in managing the defined productivity targets. As a result, 68 percent of all monitored departments operate at or above the 75th percentile. This case study highlights the importance of standardized processes and consistent productivity management in ensuring long-term success, a lesson exemplified in the Star Wars universe through the Empire’s implementation of standardized processes.


In the Star Wars universe, the Rebel Alliance is a group of disparate organizations and individuals fighting against the oppressive rule of the Galactic Empire. Despite their differences in background, skills, and motivations, the Rebels collaborate effectively to achieve their common goal of restoring freedom and democracy to the galaxy. They share information, resources, and expertise to plan and execute complex missions. The Rebel Alliance is a powerful example of the benefits of collaboration in achieving common goals.

The importance of collaboration is also relevant in healthcare organizations. Each person or department can only succeed in today’s rapidly changing healthcare environment with the help of others. Collaboration between departments and teams is essential to long-term success. When individuals and groups work together, they can leverage each other’s strengths, share knowledge and expertise, and find creative solutions to complex problems.

Effective collaboration in healthcare requires a culture of openness, trust, and mutual respect. Leaders must model collaborative behavior and provide the necessary support and resources to enable their teams to work effectively. They need to create forums for communication, such as regular team meetings and multidisciplinary rounds, where team members can share information, discuss patient cases, and cooperate on treatment plans. Leaders must also foster a workplace of continuous learning where team members are encouraged to improve and expand their skill sets. 

The Rebel Alliance in Star Wars provides a powerful example of how healthcare organizations can instill a collaborative culture to achieve their mission of providing high-quality, patient-centered care.

The Star Wars universe provides valuable insights to help healthcare organizations improve productivity. By embracing technology, training their teams, and implementing standardized processes, healthcare organizations can achieve higher efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance the quality of care. Catalyst, the ALTIUS online client portal, is one of the tools that can help healthcare leaders streamline their operations and optimize their workforce. Jedi training in the Star Wars universe serves as a reminder of the importance of the ongoing development of healthcare professionals and investing in their continuous education. 

Healthcare organizations must refrain from complacency and routinely monitor their performance to ensure sustainability in the face of constant industry challenges. Hospitals and health systems can achieve efficient operations that benefit patients, staff, and the community with the right approach and commitment.

At ALTIUS, we strive to achieve the Jedi master mindset and discipline in healthcare management. We use the Force (and some good old-fashioned hard work) to support client hospitals in their improvement efforts, providing realistic solutions that make a lasting impact. With our help, healthcare leaders can learn to wield the lightsaber of financial success and vanquish the dark side of inefficiency. 

Contact us today to start your organization’s journey toward greatness! Read Episode I of “How Hospitals Can Learn from Star Wars.” 

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