Women's Healthcare Because Women Are Different

Major strides have been made in a focus on women's health. The major change occurred, in my opinion when women were included in the Framingham Study for heart disease. This created what women always knew, we are different and have different needs. In the United States, the female mortality rates continue to decline in the number one killer of women - heart disease, but not as quickly as males. Many of the new genetic testings that are available should impact the other causes of death and create an acute awareness to maintain vigilance in screening tests and red flags to physician providers. Early care and early access are the key to reducing mortality rates and good health for the individual.

Physician Referral Relationships - Hospitalists

In the May/June edition of CV Business, I discuss "Increased Hospitalist Use Threatens Referral Patterns. In my consulting efforts, I was seeing a phenomenon of increased dependency of the specialists on the emergency department for new patients and the lack of interaction between the specialist and the primary care physicians. Both groups have expressed concerns that overall patient volumes and new patients had declined. Peer relationships are critical to physician practices. Want to read more? See CV Business Article Source: http://www.cardiovascularbusiness.com/index.php?option=com_articles&view=article&id=17308:the-back-page-increased-hospitalist-use-threatens-referral-patterns

Want additional considerations?
Professional Referral Marketing: Four Cornerstones and Eight Fatal Errors, By Stewart Gandolf, MBA & Lonnie Hirsch

Electronic Health Records - Will It Really Happen?

Until there is a mandate on the electronic health records (EHR), it will not happen. Only 1.5% of nonfederal hospitals have a comprehensive program; less than 10% have basic programs. I picture a system that is similar to the Veteran Administration program and Medicare billing (both well coordinated) with various vendors. It does boggle the mind when you realize what is involved, and just thinking about all the various components that have to be coordinated to make it work. How do you make it work when there are five different hospital systems in one town - not even thinking about the big picture? Essential? Yes! Happening tomorrow? Not unless mandated and coordinated.

Data source: “Still low tech - EHR adoption rates remain low: study by Joseph Conn, in Modern Healthcare, March 30, 2009, page 9.

When Was The Last Time The Plan Was Reviewed?

Volumes have fallen flat, there are not enought resources, things are just stale. Well, take the business plan off the shelf, blow off the dust, and really take a hard look at where you are and where you are going. Many business plans today are geared to the fiscal year and are more initiatives and action items than a real strategic plan. How do you know if you have a comprenhensive strategic plan and if it is up to date?

  • Do you have a formal vision or goal?

  • Are the key stakeholders engaged for implmenetation?

  • Does the plan address the whole spectrum of business?

Obama And The Impact Of Technology

Hospitals and businesses are always looking for a way to reduce costs. It is so frustrating to not be able to find the person or paper work that we need. It is always about communication and why the push for better systems. Want to quantify the loss of the lack of technology? A recent study from the Center For Health Information and Decision Systems at the University Of Maryland found that US hospitals lose over $12 billion annually as a result of poor communications. A major proportion of this loss is due to increase in hospital length of stay, followed by wasted physician and wasted nurse time. The loss for a 500 bed hospital is estimated at approximately $4 million annually. This study suggests that improving the quality of communications requires both technological solutions and a detailed clinical process understanding. Check out the whole study at: http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/chids/research/researchbriefings.aspx.

Invest In Marketing Today

With the stock market up and down and tough times, it sounds counter intuitive to spend money on marketing. But just like looking for the right bargain in stocks, marketing is also a bargain with the costs of print and other media down. Competitors may also have pulled back at this time. You should take advantage of the situation to position yourself for when things turn around. Those will be the winners in the long run.

Go And Get It Is The Name Of The Game!

It is an understatement in today’s health care market to say: “Build it and they will come”. This is no longer true! The truth is that you “have to go out there and get it”. To “get it” you must have a strategic plan that involves extensive differentiation in the market and expansion of access points. There must also be an implementaiton of the plan and investment in the future. There must be a clear understanding of the profitable lines, focus on those services, and the resources required to make them successful.

Developing A Quality STEMI Program

Yes, there are still new programs being developed in today’s market. The key driving forces for new program development are community demand and potential cardiovascular revenue. The one suggestion for any program, in addition to critical planning that needs to be done, the key factor that must be addressed is QUALITY! Case selection is critical in the first year. Be sure that cases are carefully selected to ensure good outcomes and no mortalities. Many programs worry that there is not enough volume and begin to take cases that should be done after the staff has gained more experience. This is not to say that anyone is incompetent, just cautious.