Optimizing Corporate Services in the Healthcare Industry: Strategies for Efficiency and Excellence

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Sep 18, 2023

Optimizing Corporate Services in the Healthcare Industry: Strategies for Efficiency and Excellence

Written by Impact Advisors

Category: Performance Improvement

While healthcare systems have spent decades on new innovations to deliver clinical care, not as much has been done to modernize and scale corporate services.  Not only can modernizing corporate services drive cost management opportunities, it can also drive a culture of customer focus and service excellence. This article offers recommendations for optimizing your corporate services function and describes the benefits of doing so.

Understanding Corporate Services in Healthcare

In the ever-evolving landscape of the healthcare industry, organizations are constantly seeking innovative ways to streamline operations, enhance patient care, and ensure financial stability. Part of this effort includes modernizing the corporate services and back-office functions that play a crucial role in supporting the operation and front-line caregivers, allowing them to focus on patients. The scope of corporate services functions can encompass finance, human resources, IT, and procurement. By transforming corporate services into a modern delivery model where employees within these areas are as passionate about serving their internal customers as they are about patients, healthcare institutions can utilize savings to fund patient-facing innovations, foster a culture of excellence, and create an environment where employees are engaged and excited about their work.

Corporate services encompass functions such as finance and accounting, human resources, information technology, and supply chain management. Often, due to mergers, acquisitions, and growth, these functions can become siloed, duplicative, and bureaucratic. By consolidating and standardizing resources and expertise, healthcare organizations can achieve greater consistency and efficiency in these areas. However, many health systems have historically struggled to scale and improve their services to customers. Common complaints include bureaucracy, lack of agility, added layers, siloed work teams, excessive approvals and hand-offs, and confusion.

Strategies for Modernizing Corporate Services

So, what are the strategies that make a corporate services function successful? The following are just a few to keep in mind.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Determine a delivery model for corporate services that aligns with your organization’s strategic goals and size. Analyze the volumes and demand of activities against the people or technology required to get the work done to ensure scalability.

Fully leverage the right enabling platforms. Unify operating and infrastructure platforms from ERP to EMRs to integrated Analytics and ensure optimal utilization and decommissioning strategies to reduce IT burdens and improve operational workflows within corporate services.

Define performance metrics for each corporate function. Align health system leadership on the problem being addressed within corporate services and its scope. Implement a monthly Corporate Services dashboard as part of the operating cadence for review.

Appoint a strong Change Leader with influence and authority to motivate and hold teams accountable to agreed-upon metrics.

Involve a diverse mix of talent at every organizational level. Overreliance on entrenched management can stifle innovation. Consider bringing in talent from both within and outside healthcare to foster new ideas.

Implementing these strategies can often lead to approximately 2%+ reduction in corporate operating expenses, potentially saving $40-60 million for a $2-3 billion system.

These savings can be reinvested in initiatives like modernizing ERP and EHR systems or leveraging AI.

Key Benefits of Optimizing Corporate Services

The benefits of optimizing and modernizing corporate services include:

  1. Cost Efficiency: Streamlining and consolidating services can yield significant cost savings, which can be reinvested in patient care, technology upgrades, and strategic initiatives.

  2. Improved Service: Standardized processes across corporate functions enhance the quality and speed of delivering key services to internal customers. Streamlined processes enable quicker decision-making and response times.

  3. Improved Employee Engagement and Satisfaction: Involving internal stakeholders and improving service delivery enhances engagement and drives a culture of excellence.

Case in Point:

A Successful

Impact Advisors recently helped a $4B healthy system save $126M by reviewing and optimizing key corporate functions, including HR, Finance, Supply Chain, Marketing, IT, Compliance/Legal/Risk, Facilities Management, Quality, Food & Nutrition Services, Environmental Services, and Security. In addition to cost savings, the functions were able to improve service to customers.



In Conclusion

With a strong customer-focused approach to modernizing corporate services and measurable outcomes, healthcare organizations can unlock cost savings, scale with growth, and improve service to internal stakeholders and employees, enabling them to drive a culture of excellence.

For more information about our Corporate Services Optimization services, reach out to our expert Lisa Jansen-King at lisa.jansen-king@impact-advisors.com.


Lisa Jansen-King

Zoe Yergler

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