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In April 2011, President Obama discussed his plan to curb the growth of healthcare costs.
The framework called for $340 billion in cuts over 10 years and $480 billion by 2023 (including the proposals already included in the president's budget). Over the subsequent decade, the president's proposal will save more than $1 trillion by further bending the cost curve, doubling the savings from the Affordable Care Act. That plan called for increasing the amount of uninsured by 50 million people.
Throughout my career, one thing remained constant: Our evolving and transforming healthcare industry. We could get ourselves really frustrated if we chase every headline. So the question is, what can you do to influence your organization's destiny?
by Lynn McVey
Current healthcare literature says that without robust analytics technology, healthcare organizations can't fully achieve the goal of affordable, high-quality care, good intentions notwithstanding. The data is there, but the healthcare industry does not have an evenly distributed knowledge of how to use it effectively.
We all know in any crowd of two or more, we are reluctant to raise our hand to ask a question. Crowd mentality diminishes our ability to learn because we hesitate to publicly disclose we need more knowledge. That is what's happening in healthcare today. We know that metrics and data are the answer yet, the emperor still has no clothes on. Clinical managers aren't skilled in how to analyze data. Hell, they just started data collecting only recently.
With potential savings of up to $300 billion a year, according to the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, the upside of industry-wide analytics is considerable. And, increasingly, providers have the raw data they need right now. They just don't know how to turn a data collection into a useful data illustration. Even though it is not quick, it can be quite simple.
I shared in previous posts that we must consider patient experience from the eyes of our consumers--the patients and families we serve. This reinforces the point that experience is not just about satisfaction or smiles, but rather a critical integration of our efforts focused on quality, safety and service.
I also made the point that experience is not bound by the walls of our clinics, hospitals or residences, but rather transcends the boundaries of buildings to the continuum people experience. It encompasses not only the clinical touch-points, but all the points before, after and in between--from schedule and access, to transitions of care, to billing or post-visit follow-ups. This all encompassing view may seem overwhelming, but I'd rather suggest it gives us a broad playing field in which to focus our efforts, understand the needs of those we work with and serve, and then provide the best in solutions to fit our environment, our focus and our purpose.
Earlier this year I attended a World Health Care Congress session on employee health. The head of Comcast's human resources spoke. He offered a different perspective on addressing employees' health.
Comcast focuses less on specific programs to promote employee wellness (benefits, wellness centers) and more on the underlying triggers that cause bad health to manifest.
He cited something I hadn't heard of before. It was Eliza Corporation's Engagement Index. This tool examines life context issues while predicting how those issues impact health, spending and satisfaction--ultimately expanding the definition of health.
Loyalty is a very desirable trait we should value in our personal and professional lives. It is great to have a friend or business colleague you can count on to not only support you, but to always create maximum value for you whether you leverage a personal relationship, or optimize a business arrangement. However, as cost pressures intensify in the business setting, prudent leaders must evaluate and balance the cost of continuity, or loyalty, versus the best financial deal for their organizations.
But she brings doughnuts...
"Linda is the clinical educator for the surgical devices we routinely use in our facility. She is so nice and every morning she comes to speak with us she brings doughnuts!" That is wonderful and Linda undoubtedly is an extremely nice person. But what is the cost benefit ratio of the doughnuts if Linda's instruction promotes the overuse of expensive implant devices that costs the organization more than is clinically necessary and exposes patients to unnecessary risks? How does the education provided affect value based purchasing criteria such as hospital acquired complications, 30-day readmission rates and patient satisfaction?
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