We like to say “logistics keeps hospitals healthy.” And a healthy hospital provides predictable, reliable, quality patient care and outcomes that keep the patient community happy and healthy.
The unhealthy vs. healthy hospital:
- Unhealthy: Departments work in isolation and conflict, communication and visibility are poor, information is scarce and outdated, operations and results are unreliable.
- Healthy: Hospital works as a system, everything is visible, everyone has updated information when it’s useful, all activities and outcomes are reliable.
VHA Inc., the leading national hospital partner and resource for operational transformation, documents the dynamics of a healthy hospital is this article in its member publication Alliance, It also includes a profile of the journey to sustained good health by Baptist Medical Center South in Montgomery, Ala.
So what are your hospital’s vital signs? These measures determine whether you are making your patient community healthy and happy, building strong physician relationships, making care coordination efficient and reliable, controlling costs, and delivering maximum margins.
13 Vital Signs of a Healthy Hospital:
- Unified, passionate patient-first, zero-defect culture
- People and departments working in harmony to deliver exceptional, efficient care
- Reduced length of stay
- Increased CMI
- Observed to expected ratios for length of stay based on DRGs at or below 1.0
- Exceptional care quality scores
- 90+ percentile patient satisfaction
- Reduced readmissions
- Reliable, predictable operations across the entire hospital
- Strong, productive physician relationships
- Increased employee engagement
- Lower cost per case
- Sustained higher margins, including Medicare breakeven or better
Assign an honest score between 1-10 for your hospital in each of these areas, with 10 being optimum performance. If you’re less than an 8 in any one of these areas, your patients are at risk and are likely unsatisfied with their experience in your hospital.
For any single score below an 8, make a plan with specific objectives and timelines to fix it. If you grade yourself below an 8 in three or more of these areas, it’s time to consider how to fix breakdowns in care delivery across all of the people and departments in your hospital. The most dedicated, compassionate caregivers, technicians and other critical care employees must have the tools, processes and power to ensure a focus on the care and welfare of every patient, every day, all the time. If you are concerned that your hospital can’t confidently and consistently be an honor student on the report card above, then take the first step to establish a healthy hospital that will thrive in the new value-based world.