How do you determine the “right” productivity target?

At ATLIUS, we stress the importance of having the right person, in the right place, performing the right task, for the right clinical outcome. This approach is then ultimately supported by having the right productivity target in place. The question is, how do you determine each departmental target so that it results in the highest level of efficiency and the best overall outcomes?

While there are various ways to establish productivity targets, we have seen the strongest performers follow our primary approach to target setting: varying targets by department. Achieve sustainable results and maintain performance through the following steps:

  • Targets should be set based on a department’s performance against comparative data
  • Include all departments in the process, and all departments should be working towards improvements
  • Follow a decision rule that drives change and efficiency improvements across the organization through systematic and consistent progress
  • Departmental productivity targets should support the organization’s Key Performance Indicator goals
  • Taking the uniform approach of having every department strive to achieve the same percentile level is not the answer
    • This may seem like “leveling the playing field,” but the nuances of operations and potential opportunities within each area become lost
    • It creates false variances, both positive and negative, which can skew how the organization’s overall performance is viewed
    • False variances can lead to confusion around when department leaders are permitted to hire into open positions
    • It can also generate a sense of detachment from the goals at hand when the managers feel they are unachievable

Productivity properly aligns resources with workload and creates accountability across an organization. While it is essential to always have performance goals in place, it is critical to ensure that leaders strive towards meaningful and attainable targets. ALTIUS has helped over 100 hospitals and health systems across the country capitalize on existing cost-savings opportunities by assessing current operations, outlining realistic plans for improvement, and educating managers to guarantee sustainability. Reach out to our team today to learn more about how our strategies can benefit your organization!

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