Hospitals Are The Heart Of Our Communities.
They keep us healthy, safe, and connected to each other.
Our healthcare systems, hospitals, medical practices and facilities of senior care are facing the challenge of keeping up with the cost of care. Rising prices, inflation, labor shortages, and the post pandemic landscape are affecting not only medical providers, but the hard-working support services staff that keep facilities running and patients fed.
Our operators are doing more with less, but still must meet the standards of quality and regulatory compliance. How can support services directors, managers, and supervisors adapt to succeed?
They must be proactive on balancing cost, performance, and care.
To start, every healthcare operator needs to be comfortable having these four critical conversations with hospital leadership.
Cost Containment Should Be No Surprise To Any Healthcare Operator.
The cost of goods and services are rising with inflation. Supply chain shortages further complicate budget planning and execution.
Every operator must understand that it’s not just cost that is a concern for CFOs, it’s a pending drop in revenue. The Healthcare market in the United States is predicted to have a slower than average growth through 2026.
Healthcare support service are often seen as a cost center, rather than a cost driver. Support services leaders need to think strategically about how their operations can drive more to the top line while holding the bottom.
Find areas to optimize your spend through GPOs, re-look at expenses, and find new ways to bring in revenue — such as implementing more retail, unmanned vending, catering and find ways to repackage services to monetize.
When patients and employees advocate for your organization, superior financial outcomes will follow.
MOST MEDICAL PROVIDER SEGMENTS WILL GROW LESS THAN 5% CAGR FROM 2021 TO 2026 DUE TO INCREASED COSTS.
Making staffing schedules work is a top challenge in support services, no matter the facility. It takes a special person who can both execute the tasks and provide services with a smile as they interact with patients, families, and providers in their most stressful moments.
All managers should be focused on retaining staff. This means providing a workplace where training and recognition are at the forefront. Create a culture of safety — not just physical, but also psychological so that your people can be their best each day. Offer cross-training to those in different departments so they can cover when unexpected schedule openings occur.
WITH THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE UNDER 4%, A PEOPLE-FIRST APPROACH IS THE ONLY SOLUTION TO SOLVING LABOR SHORTFALLS.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2023
GOOD PEOPLE ARE HARD TO FIND, SO KEEP THE ONES YOU’VE GOT
Labor optimization is a must-know for every healthcare operations manager. It’s about evaluating your staffing, spend, who does what, and how to come up with a plan for efficient staffing.
“Optimization” is a word that causes many leaders concern. It’s not about reducing people or wages, the core concept of labor optimization is about helping people do their jobs better. Better, faster, smarter, and safer to them, the hospital, and those you serve.
It’s your people – not just stats and the bottom line – that make support services successful.
Performance + Quality / Time = Productivity
People aren’t widgets and hospitals aren’t factories. The idea of efficiency in people operations can feel counterintuitive in a care environment. We want people to produce, but also to ensure that every meal packed and floor mopped is done with quality and safety in mind.
How do you balance productivity metrics with a peoplefirst operation? You focus on working smarter, rather than harder.
Time and motion studies can help to understand what effort is going into tasks and what is coming out. Start with the basics of observing and documenting to identify small changes that can improve outcomes. Are your people working efficiently in the kitchen? Is everything in the right spot in the line to increase ergonomics and reduce cross-traffic? Does your environmental services staff clean in a methodical way? How many steps is it to access a utility closet midclean?
The right technology can accelerate productivity in your facility. Using tablets or smart phones, integrated software, IoT, robotics and new Ai tools can speed slow, duplicate, or monotonous tasks.
Your executives want to know that they are investing in the right places. Show them that support services are efficient and effective by benchmarking your performance to industry-standards. Commit to continuous improvement, one quarter at a time.
By utilizing your people the right way, patients are more satisfied and employees are more motivated.
A Positive Patient Experience Improves Health Outcomes.
Healthcare providers have a duty to their patients and communities to provide a safe environment. Support services are central to keeping the facility maintained and patients provided with nutritious food.
The HCAHPS Survey conducted by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services has been the benchmark for patient satisfaction since 2006. HCAHPS score directly influence hospital reimbursement rates. Those hospitals with better experiences earn exponentially more than those without.
Healthcare support services leaders need to re-frame their role within the hospital from being support for the facility, your teams are ambassadors of experience. A patient or family may only vaguely remember a brief interaction with a doctor, but they will remember the quality of the meal they ate or whether building met their expectation.
HCAHPS ASKS PATIENTS TO RATE THE CLEANLINESS AND QUIETNESS OF PATIENTS’ ROOMS, OVERALL RATING AND WHETHER THEY WOULD RECOMMEND IT.
Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2021
We’ve learned that the best support services, the ones that capitalize on the right opportunities, make the right moves, and continually grow in the right direction, all have one thing in common: they utilize the right people.
Founded by three healthcare operations experts, Kestgo provides hospitals, healthcare systems, and senior living providers with guidance on how to structure, lead, and run an efficient, people-first organization.
Our firm is committed to finding new ways to support your culture while enabling the financial outcomes you seek. We work cross-functionally to optimize performance and improve both the patient and employee experience. We help you shape your food & nutrition, environmental services, facility management, laundry & linen, and security operations.
Change is hard. That’s why, we lend a hand to providers seeking interim leadership, employee training, RFP development, and workforce optimization.
You can be confident that your best interests are in our hearts as we maintain a provider agnostic view — helping you maintain independent operations or vetting new suppliers.
Whatever you need, Kestgo is ready to serve.