Ralph Lawson

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t ... you’re right.”  

  —Henry Ford 

If you believe that your organization can attain and maintain fiscal health, even in today’s challenging healthcare environment, you have already taken an important step toward success in 2013. At Baptist Health South Florida (BHSF), we believe it—and we are acting on that belief. Following are six strategies we consider essential for ensuring long-term financial viability and creating value. 

Eliminate paper in the clinical setting. As long as records are paper-based, clinical information silos will remain. Electronic health records (EHRs) are breaking down those silos. Our goals: enhanced coordination of care across disciplines and facilities, improved quality and safety, and—ultimately—significantly reduced cost of care. 

Implement computerized physician order entry (CPOE). Eliminating paper in clinical settings goes hand-in-hand with implementing CPOE. At hospitals that have implemented CPOE, orders are being carried out faster, error rates are being reduced, and work processes are being streamlined. Plus, no one misses the daily struggle to decipher physicians’ handwriting. 

Compute the ROI for all new projects using a consistent methodology. Imagine how your work would be affected if different performance standards were applied to each project or initiative in which you are involved. At BHSF, the ROI process has been centralized across the enterprise to ensure ROIs are prepared in a consistent manner using standard assumptions and criteria.

Implement payer strategies that pay you for improving quality and reducing cost to the payer. Many organizations are pursuing ways to offset the cost of investments necessary to transform care. Contract managers are beginning to work in partnership with quality and clinical leaders to establish value-based payment methodologies that are consistent with organizational goals. Contracting leaders are also working with CFOs to pursue payment experiments with payers, such as the shared savings accountable-care-like program for oncology that BHSF launched in collaboration with a payer and a physician group last year. 

Implement financially viable clinical integration strategies. To complement an employed medical group, we are finalizing plans for a clinically integrated network to partner with non-employed physicians. You may find inspiration in innovative approaches described in HFMA’s most recent Value Project report. For example, at Nebraska Methodist Health System, points are assigned for elements of care before, during, and after a procedure and structured to share accountability across physicians. The points are monitored, added up, divided by the shared savings amount, and allocated. In this era of experimentation with new payment models, opportunities for creative solutions abound.  

Implement 21st century business practices. Without health IT, transformation from volume to value is impossible. Continual evaluation of new technology and its potential for change drives an organization’s competitive advantage. A strong working relationship between CIO and CFO is essential. 

As we begin the new year, resolve now to help lead your organization to success in 2013. 

Leadership Matters! 

Publication Date: Tuesday, January 01, 2013

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