HOSPITAL-PHYSICIAN ALIGNMENT 10
Themanagement at C. W. Williams Health Centre has observed that it isimportant to change the manner and way in which all the managers andunit leaders, healthcare professionals and other subordinate staff inthe hospital manage and conduct their daily tasks. In the past twoyears C. W. Williams Health Centre has been striving to redress thismatter in order solve the problems relating to low productivity andhuge costs, which have bedevilled the institution operations for manyyears. There are a number of strategies that can be used to help C.W. Williams Health Centre attain continuous daily improvement andsupport alignment of its operations. Supporting goal-orientedrelationship, a culture of collaboration between hospital andphysician and leveraging on technology are paramount milestones tosolve the problems that have bedevilled C. W. Williams Health Centre. Real alignment should always reveal new and better thinking thatgenerates clinical improvements, financial efficiencies, andtechnological innovations without falling victim of past ensnares. To accomplish these objectives, it is vital that a platform forhonest and candid exchange of information is generated.
Inthe modern healthcare environment, full of unpredictable economics,changing patient’s demographics, shifting physician attitudes andreform-oriented regulators, forward-thinking healthcare institutionsand clinicians have recognized there is only one way to remainsuccessful and move forward improving accountability, supportingcollaboration and reducing costs while improving patient outcomes(Mayzell & Breen, 2013). Health institutions are operating invery dynamic environment that call for application of efficientstrategies (Ruggiero etal. 2011). C. W. Williams Health Centre is one such health institution that hasfound it increasing important to align its strategies to remainrelevant and competitive in the salient uncertain environment. C. W.Williams Health Centre is a non-profit community healthcareinstitution based in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina (Swayne,2008).C. W. Williams Health Centre has adopted Toyota’s manufacturingsystem theory of lean production. From 2002 C. W. Williams HealthCentre has been using lean management doctrine to reduce operationalcost and improve the quality of care delivered to its patients(Swayne,2008).
Morethan ever before, healthcare institutions will be seeking connectionswith other institutions and large medical bodies with a soundfinancial background, extensive expertise and strong foundation inoutpatient areas (Mayzell & Breen, 2013). In the new era, it isbecoming more and more important to integrate physicians with othermedical providers and healthcare programs to determine the bestprocesses, conduct, and medication. These are the aspects that makehospital-physician alignment an important milestone towards creatingan efficient and cost-effective system of care delivery (Mayzell &Breen, 2013).
Oneof the fundamental principles of lean management used by the C. W.Williams Health Centre hospitals has been collaborative care thatencompasses a multi-disciplinary team members and the coming togetherof the relevant stakeholders to generate a comprehensive,individualized care plan (Swayne,2008).In this light, C. W. Williams Health Centre has initiated massivestaffing and physical facility changes to support high-quality careat a reasonable cost. In the first five years since C. W. WilliamsHealth Centre commenced using the lean production tool in itshealthcare processes, there has been significant improvement inquality improvement and reduction of waste (Swayne,2008).Undeniably, waste reduction is the hallmark of lean thinking. Thiskey achievement (waste reduction) was made possible by thedevelopment of an improvement system referred to as C. W. WilliamsHealth Centre Improvement System (TIS). This encompassed rapidimprovement of processes and events, value stream analysis andprojects applied to particular processes (Garloch,2014).Nonetheless, C. W. Williams Health Centre was not able to attain allthe set goals for continuous daily improvement, especially theobjective of augmenting productivity by at least 10 percent everyyear.
Themanagement at C. W. Williams Health Centre has observed that it isalso important to change the manner and way in which all the managersand unit leaders in the hospital manage and conduct their daily tasks(Garloch,2014).In the past two years C. W. Williams Health Centre has been strivingto redress this matter in order solve the problems relating to lowproductivity and huge costs, which have bedevilled the institutionoperations for many years (Garloch,2014).C. W. Williams Health Centre can adopt some strategies and course ofactions that can transform the ailing operational processes withinthe institution. It is important to note that C. W. Williams HealthCentre wishes to execute strategies that marry with the lean concept.
Strategiesto Support Alignment
Thereare a number of strategies that can be used to help C. W. WilliamsHealth Centre attain continuous daily improvement and supportphysician –hospital alignment.
ACulture of Collaboration
Aculture change may be necessary to attain the right balance ofclinician-hospital alignment. It is imperative for the management atC. W. Williams Health Centre to elevate the significance of team workand channel more efforts towards creating teambuilding dynamics(TCHV, 2014). It is true that most physicians view themselves asindependent practitioners, but it is vital to remember that effectivehealthcare cannot be offered by one person. A clinician cannot makedecisions relating to various issues relating to the provision ofcare independently (Mayzell&Breen, 2013).For example, in many cases a physician will require the services oflab technicians and x-ray department. Provision of healthcare in the21st century requires the coordination of all stakeholders because ofthe complexities fronted by rules, medical practices, and ethicalprinciples. For many physicians who have been in the medical fieldsfor many years and who have worked in an independent manner,alignment necessitates a change of practice and style independently(Mayzell&Breen, 2013).
Oneof the main challenges to the physician-hospital collaboration is theneed to work from a common base of shared, simplified and accurateinformation. This trickles down to electronic health record(Healthcare Financial Management Association, 2012). C. W. WilliamsHealth Centre has been struggling to digitize all operations eventhough colossal sums of money are set each year towards therealization of this noble goal. An integrated electronic healthrecord is pivotal towards creating a true continuum of care (HFMA,2012). EHR is an ingredient for effective alignment. Coordination andcollaboration cannot take place if all healthcare professionals donot have access to all the relevant data and information (HealthcareFinancial Management Association, 2012). An integrated electronichealth record is one of the most effective of avoiding workduplication. That’s critically vital to stopping the increase inoperational costs. With an integrated HER system physicians can viewprior diagnoses and prescription to play a part in avoiding wastageof money and time. HER system also supports a framework wheremanagement can audit the clinical procedures so that a consistentlevel of excellence is practiced and pursued (Healthcare FinancialManagement Association, 2012).
PaymentMethods that Support Collaboration
Possessinga capacity to provide high-quality healthcare at the lowest cost ispegged on the physician-hospital coordination. Many healthcareinstitutions have huge expenses due to lack of proper coordinationamong independent incongruent providers an element has been blamedfor causing overuse of treatment and medication (Healthcare FinancialManagement Association, 2012). If C. W. Williams Health Centre canuse financial incentives to cut down wastages, the hospital will notonly be in a position to save money but will also significantlyimprove the quality of care provided to patients. Physicians workingin the institution and management can find a common ground throughparticipating in payer-supported efforts such as pay-for-performanceprogram that provides incentives for collaboration to enhanceclinical quality and lower operational costs (Healthcare FinancialManagement Association, 2012). .
C.W. Williams Health Centre should align behaviour as part of physicianalignment strategies. Standardization of behaviour can promoteclinical integration and improve quality and efficiency. There areelements to successful physician alignment:
Aligned incentives whereby stakeholders are encouraged and motivated to take part in clinical integration.
Aligned knowledge, whereby stakeholders access the right information at the apt moment.
Aligned behaviour: whereby all stakeholders behave and respond to information in a cohesive manner
Standardizationof behaviour can encompass strategies that can continually supportinnovation and reorganization to ensure that the apt information iscaptured, the apt decisions are well thought-out, and the rightrecipients within the organization get the information they requireall through the system (Athenahealth, 2015). Aligned behaviourdepends on standardized processes for stakeholders and can call for astandard approach for how to generate, store, use and disseminatehealth information. Aligned behaviour ensures that healthcare givers,managers, payers and patients play a part in taking the apt actionwhen required to do so and can adhere to shared goals and benchmarks(Athenahealth, 2015).
Withthe involvedness and changeability in how physicians work, physicianalignment approach that is pegged on standardized workflows can fronta challenge. Therefore, it is crucial to nurture sound physicianrelationship and leadership to generate harmony for an integratedapproach to information system formulation and execution(Athenahealth, 2015). Supporting goal-oriented relationship betweenhospital and physician is not enough, real alignment should alwaysreveal new and better thinking that generates clinical improvements,financial efficiencies, and technological innovations without fallingvictim of past ensnares. To accomplish these objectives, it is vitalthat a platform for honest and candid exchange of information iscreated.
Theconcept of an effective strategy is pegged on the hospice mission.For a hospital-physician strategy to work effectively, allstakeholders must concur on the mission and goals that shall form thebasis of care delivery. Aligning hospital-physician can conferimmense benefits to C. W. Williams Health Centre hospitals such asincreasing the depth of healthcare services, reducing operationalcosts and improving the quality of care delivered to patients.
Athenahealth.(2015). Aligning behavior as part of physician alignment strategies.Retrieved from:http://athenahealth.org/knowledge-hub/clinical-integration/physician-alignment-strategies
HealthcareFinancial Management Association. (2012). The New Era for. Journalof the Healthcare Financial Management Association, Volume 62, Issues9-13Retrieved from:http://chivaroli.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/New-Era-for-Hospital-Physician-Alignment-1.pdf
Mayzell,G and, Breen, W.R. Jr. (2013). Physician Alignment: ConstructingViable Roadmaps for the Future. New York, CRC Press, Taylor &Francis Group.
Ruggiero,J. R., Shields, M., In Donovan, P., & Healthcare IntelligenceNetwork,. (2011). Blueprintfor ACO success: Clinical, quality and compliance considerations foran accountable care organization
TCHV.(2014). ImprovingIn-Patient Care at ThedaCare.Retrieved from:http://createvalue.org/case_studies/improving-in-patient-care-at-thedacare/
Garloch,K.. (2014).Financially troubled C.W. Williams health center reduceshours, patients seen. TheCharlotte Observer.Retrieved from:http://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/health-family/article9165404.html
Swayne,L.E. (2008). C.W. Williams Health Center: A Community Asset.The University of North Carolina.