Health care systems are undergoing significant changes that will require innovative and skilled leaders. In fact, integrated teams are being formed and piloted to provide quality patient care at a reduced cost. Accountable care organizations and medical home models are just some of the models being discussed to improve quality and reduce the cost of health care. Which model should you implement to position your organization for the future? Each model requires investment of resources. In fact, how payments will be bundled is still being determined. Since there is uncertainty in how health care will look in the future, medical systems must develop a culture and strategy that is flexible to move with the changing directions. Health care organizations that possess the following characteristics will be able to flex with the uncertain environment.
The agile organization has a chance to be able to met the challenges of the uncertain future. Health care organizations must transform into an agile and responsive team capable of winning in today’s complex and ever-changing marketplace. The organization must find the right balance between efficiency and responsiveness. Systems that are agile will reap the rewards of not just surviving, but thriving in today’s very challenging global health care and business environment. Business and operational agility determines whether these systems will become a victim of the challenging economic times or if it will learn to create new possibilities by continually responding to changing market conditions and evolving customer desires.
Health care organizations need strong leadership teams to set the direction and vision to navigate the uncertain times. Strong leadership teams must be developed who can collaborate and develop strategies to flex with uncertainty and complexity. A new kind of leader with new competencies is required. The traditional style of leadership of command and control will not suffice. Leaders with collaborative and information technology (IT) skills are needed.
Empowered teams are needed to move health care systems into the future. Empowered teams can implement new initiatives and pilot programs to test the feasibility of the programs to improve quality and reduce costs. Experimental innovative programs are developed by empowered teams. Diverse perspectives from teams can develop creative solutions to meet the challenges of the difficult health care environment. Empowered teams must be developed.
Integrated teams will have a significant role in the future of medical organizations. Integrated teams will coordinate the care of patients across clinical specialties. Many of the integrated teams will be hospital based. In fact, the trend has been to employ more physicians into hospital based teams. Developing integrated teams will not happen over night. Integrated teams can position organizations to streamline processes and improve patient outcomes. Since patient outcomes may be a criteria for reimbursements, integrated teams will provide flexibility to organizations.
Information Technology is critical to the success of health care organizations. IT systems are essential to capture data that will improve clinical quality and reduce costs. Electronic medical records are critical to coordinating patient care and monitoring outcomes. Investment in this technology will move organizations forward to be a player in the competitive health care environment.