Over the last 10 years, the healthcare model has changed across the U.S. and internationally due to policy changes and ongoing legislation. In this ever-evolving industry, a healthcare organization’s business management and strategy can be the difference between increased profitability and stagnation. Is your healthcare center or hospital business strategy in need of a revamp? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Below, in no particular order, are eight tips on properly managing healthcare business strategy so you can operate efficiently and grow as an organization.
Healthcare Business Management Tips From 8 Experts
1. Build strong relationships.
“To be successful in a healthcare business, you have to build relationships. People have to know you and trust you before they trust your products or services. I focus on building relationships with other healthcare organizations as well as with clients. The more that you demonstrate your commitment to improving the lives of patients and deliver quality services, the more people will begin to trust you. You have to say what you mean and mean what you say because through your words, people will know you by your reputation. I started by branding myself as someone that people can trust, and as a result, we have been steadily building our clientele and reputation.”
Dr. Kristy Taylor
President, Heka Healthcare Consulting
2. Seek to understand other perspectives.
“I have worked with over 100 healthcare organizations and coached or trained a few thousand healthcare leaders. In my experience, the most critical tip is to seek to understand. Healthcare leaders must remember that they walk into any situation with a perspective (their own) which is tremendously filled with bias. Being vigilant to seek to understand affords the opportunity and humility to take the perspective of another individual—be it patients, employees, physicians, or community members. It allows you to make better decisions, demonstrate empathy, and build trust.”
Katie M. Owens, MHA, CPXP
President, Healthcare Experience Foundation
3. Know the difference between regulation, policy, and good practice.
“I am a registered dietitian in private practice with an master’s in healthcare administration. I have worked in various settings as a clinician and a manager. One important concept to remember is the difference between a regulation, a policy, and good practice.
As a rule of thumb, regulations are the minimum requirements that have to be met. A policy should reflect the minimum required by the regulations. Depending on the situation, it may be good practice to do exactly what is in the policy but no more; other times the policy may allow for flexibility to do more or less depending on many variables. This is different from a protocol which is more rigid and must be followed exactly.
If a policy is more detailed than necessary, it might not be flexible enough to meet the minimum and allow flexibility due to patient needs, budget needs, staffing, etc.”
Lisa Hugh, MSHS, RD, LDN, CWCA, AACCWS, CPHQ, CLT
4. Look forward, not back.
“Write the future you want the business to have versus focusing on fixing past problems. Why it’s important: Today, I talked with a physician about $3 million in old receivables. He wanted to chase them and didn’t know that after three months you get diminishing returns. Instead, we agreed to look at how receivables occur and reset if and how they are accepted. We refined the process to increase certainty of receipt in less time in the future. This loss won’t happen at this level again.”
Founder and Senior Partner of MySuccess
5. Develop strong leaders across your organization.
“Start developing tomorrow’s leaders today. The pace of change in healthcare is fundamentally transforming what’s expected of leaders. The strategies that made today’s healthcare leaders successful will not work for tomorrow’s leaders. Future-focused healthcare leaders must learn to lead change, collaborate, and attract top talent to their industry.”
Chris Groscurth, Ph.D.
6. Learn why old strategies failed and revamp them for success.
“Understand that there are few new strategies in healthcare management. Instead, there are recycled and revisited strategies that were not implemented well the first time. Learn the lesson of why they failed, and you will have a better chance of being successful this time. A great example is the Accountable Care model which is a recycling of the Capitation model of the 1980s. The key to success (and failure then) is the active collaboration with physicians who can affect the behavior change required.”
Joseph A. Welfeld, FACHE
7. Make online security a priority.
“Be sure you have well-integrated and secure electronic and cloud storage solutions to support your workflow. With electronic health records (EHR) and electronic medical records (EMR) becoming commonplace in the healthcare industry, it is integral that your workflow is set up to be effective, efficient and, most importantly, secure digitally.”
8. Push for transparency.
“We believe that leadership teams act better together when they are working off the same page. Be sure to document your goals and KPIs and let everyone get access to the data. Thus, the discussions you have will be about how to improve, not what the measure actually is. When everyone is working off the same set of goals, you can leverage the strengths of the team and get more accomplished than you can as individuals. We see it all the time.”
Managing Partner, ClearPoint Strategy
Do you know how you stack up against other healthcare organizations?
These tips will all help improve your own healthcare business management strategy—but do you know what your peers are doing? If not, it’s critical to begin gathering and examining your performance data to determine how you compare to other healthcare companies.
A quick and simple way to get started with your benchmarking process is by downloading this file of 108 critical healthcare metrics. They’re organized in eight categories, have clear descriptions of every metric, and are free to download. Take a look!