Like a plant pushing out from a rock, the healthcare industry is being asked to overcome inertia, break through the status quo, and create the future of health care.
This apropos analogy comes from the opening page of the Ernst & Young New Horizons Health Care Industry Report 2013. The report focuses on 9 operational topics, from optimizing information technology to ensuring regulatory compliance and ethics, using case studies from hospitals across the country to illustrate common challenges and how these organizations overcame them. The report also has the endorsement from respected health care thought leaders such as Peter Pronovost, MD, and Don Berwick, MD.
A recurring theme is the potential for lowering the cost of healthcare while still creating exceptional value for patients, clinicians, supporting staff, and administrators. There is a call for hospitals to identify “waste” in how they get things done and to eliminate the “waste” by improving the processes associated with care delivery. “Waste” in this case is defined as all the tasks and activities that lead to duplications of effort, defective information exchanges, and missed steps that result in compromised outcomes. This theme is at the heart of both LEAN thinking and the OPTIMI$ER workflow technology solutions that Optimium Health has specifically designed to help streamline patient flow, lower costs, and improve patient care.
Below is an excerpt from the report:
Over the past half century in the US, innovation in biomedical science has proliferated. Yet, our system for delivering and paying for care has not kept pace with these scientific breakthroughs.
Today, spurred by government reforms and market shifts, industry stakeholders are working together to pursue system innovation with new vigor: lowering costs while delivering exceptional value, using data to improve outcomes, creating the workforce of the future to support emerging care models, managing health holistically and engaging patient to be empowered partners in their care.
This edition of New Horizons is focused on how health care innovators and change agents are addressing the challenges within their own organizations across the continuum of care, and at state and national levels.