Balancing Competing Demands in Today’s Healthcare Environment
In today’s healthcare environment, both hospital administrators and surgeons are confronting myriad new challenges ranging from a growing "pay-for-performance" movement to quality improvement imperatives. With the high fixed costs of the hospital business model, these challenges would be difficult to overcome in any environment. But to survive and thrive today means confronting these challenges in the midst of a particularly harsh economic climate.
Recent studies from the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and the Estes Park Institute summarize the top concerns facing hospital CEOs. It is no surprise that the number one concern is revenue and profitability.1,2 Following that, among the concerns that appear in both organization memberships’ top-10 lists are:
- Improving Patient Outcomes & Satisfaction1,2
- Safety and Quality of Care1,2
- Attracting Patients1
- Overcoming Capacity Constraints1
- Physician Hospital Relations1
- Adopting New Technology1,2
To weather the economic storm, hospitals must confront and successfully overcome these challenges. To do so, it is critically important to identify and leverage competitive advantages that drive revenue.
A recent survey of hospital executives found that while the operating room is responsible for 20% - 40% of a hospital’s costs, 68% of the hospital’s annual revenues were related to surgery.3
Given these economics, increasing the number of surgeries performed should improve hospital profitability. However, merely increasing surgeries is not enough — this must be accomplished by improved efficiencies in the operating room, coupled with minimization of risks associated with surgery and improvement in clinical outcomes. Only by combining these efforts can hospital economics be improved.
If hospitals can achieve all these goals - increased surgical admissions, improved OR efficiency, reduced risks and improved outcomes in surgery - patient satisfaction and profitability can be dramatically improved. One of the most promising means to achieve these goals is with the implementation of a da Vinci Surgery program.
For a deeper understanding of how establishing a successful da Vinci Surgery program can help address these pressing concerns, see the links below.
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2 "The Top Issues in Health Care 2008," the Estes Park Institute
3 Jackson, RL. The Business of Surgery. Health Management Technology. July 2002