Operations Planning & Improvement

Over the last century, two things have been consistent in the healthcare industry; growth and change. Healthcare reform is not the first attempt to overhaul our healthcare delivery or reimbursement systems but it may be the most transformative. It seems clear that healthcare is experiencing a polar shift and value is becoming king. Stakeholders throughout the industry including patients, employers, payers, regulators, legislators, and financiers are expecting healthcare providers to do more with less. As a result, hospital and health system operating performance has become mission-critical.

BCS consultants can assess your organization’s operations from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective and help you identify the key drivers of performance. As part of our team’s assessment of your operations, we will evaluate your organization’s:

Operations Planning & Improvement

  • Expense management
  • Revenue cycle management
  • Overall financial performance
  • Quality of care scores
  • Patient safety track record
  • Patient experience & service delivery outcomes
  • Employee engagement & satisfaction
  • Peak leadership performance & effectiveness

Once opportunities have been identified, the BCS team has the operating experience, insight and practical know-how to facilitate change and help your organization realize sustainable improvements. Our team’s approach includes helping you to create the corporate culture and support structures to ensure long-term sustainability.

What’s In An Operational Assessment?

Here are 10 frequently asked questions we have received from past clients who were considering an operational assessment.

1: Why Consider An Operational Assessment?

In some cases, the organization is having financial difficulties and needs outside expertise, support and assistance to identify and implement opportunities for making significant improvement in operating / financial performance. In other situations, the organization wants to be proactive to improve its current and future financial position given the growing pressures and challenges being confronted in the rapidly-changing healthcare environment. A key deliverable of the engagement is the written report of all key findings, recommendations and suggested action plan for implementation that is presented to executive leadership, board, and other preferred audiences. Support and assistance with implementation is also an important deliverable that can be provided.

2: What is the Scope For the Assessment?

The scope of the operational assessment can be comprehensive and include all the organization’s operating departments and functions including financial management, marketing and strategy. A more limited scope can be initiated with a focus on one department, function or service line. An assessment typically includes both quantitative and qualitative elements including work processes, procedures and organizational culture.

3: How Long Does an Operational Assessment Take?

Around 2 to 3 months once the initial documents and reports requested are received.

4: How Disruptive is the Process?

Minimally disruptive. Gathering the documents and reports needed for the initial document review, and 2 to 3 days for on-site fieldwork are the only time-consuming aspects for the organization. However, support and assistance of management is a key factor critical to the success of the engagement.

5: What is Involved With On-Site Field Work?

On-site field work includes a review of various documents and reports, and interviews with various managers and employees. In some cases, direct observation of the work environment may be involved. It is important to verify our understanding of the work flows, processes and procedures; assess any variation in interpretation, expectations, or adherence with policy, procedures or best practices / processes; and investigate whether staff experience obstacles, roadblocks, and/or have other ideas for improvement. The primary objective of the on-site field work is to validate assumptions, preliminary indicators and findings, and observe, understand and verify the organization’s current state. On-site field work typically takes 2 to 3 days in most organizations.

6: What Financial Opportunity Should an Organization Expect to Realize From This Process?

There are a multitude of variables that impact the financial opportunity an organization can realize from an operational assessment including its current cash flow position, debt covenants, and whether its financial state is critical or not. We’ll benchmark the organization against similar size organizations and best practices, and provide financial projections for recommendations being made under one or more scenarios. Based on our experience – as well as the size, scope and complexity of the organization – a range from several thousand to several million dollars or more of opportunity can typically be expected.

7: What Data Base Will Be Used For Benchmarking?

Our extensive data base of hundreds of health service organizations will be accessed to benchmark the organization against similar organizations with similar service lines, size and scope. In addition, a knowledge base of current industry best practices will be used in benchmarking as well.

8: What Are The Deliverables?

A written business report is submitted that provides all key findings including quantitative and qualitative analysis along with benchmarking, best practices, recommendations with proposed action plan, critical success factors, and projected financial impact. There is also a presentation made to executive leadership, board or other audience of the organization’s choosing. Implementation support and assistance is also available if desired.

9: How Much Does This Cost?

Given the number of variables that can be involved, a range of fees for a comprehensive operational assessment is typically anywhere from $30,000 to $75,000 plus expenses.

10: Can We Assist in Implementation?

Yes. We can assist in implementing recommendations and the suggested action plan to include all or any of the following: staff education and training, including implementing new or modified workflows, processes, policies, procedures, and systems; ongoing management or staff coaching and mentoring; development and implementation of key performance indicators; and ongoing measuring, monitoring, and results reporting. Implementation support can be time-limited or continuous and ongoing.