Long-term sustainability a critical reality for healthcare organizations; a healthcare consulting perspective

Sustainability is gaining attention as the rapidly transforming health care market pushes organizations to evaluate their long-term viability. While I was doing research in healthcare consulting space, i found the number of healthcare organizations going out of service is slowing increasing and at the same time, new start-up organizations are also in the race.

A sustainable health care system is achieved by delivering high quality care and improved public health without causing ecological damage. Sustainability programs can also lower costs, improve organizational performance and enhance patient and employee experiences. Sustaining clinical and financial gains needs optimal usage of organizational resources and must be part of an organization’s improvement strategy.
Hospitals owners and chief executives face the enormous challenge of balancing their daily operating costs with their long-term sustainability. Sound financial, technological and operational strategies can help CFOs protect the long-term performance of their hospitals.

Healthcare consulting studies says that, some of the steps healthcare organizations can take to create a sustainable ecosystem include –

Re-evaluate Investment Strategy
Long-term vision and sound investment strategies are core to a sustainable business plan. Hospital owners and chief executives should draw up strategies that ensure their organization has the financial resources required to operate over a period of time. Managing investments require particular skill set and hence it is prudent that healthcare providers seek expert investment knowledge for their investment strategies. Healthcare systems can look to improve financial sustainability by optimizing revenue cycle and cash flow. They can partner with banks to consolidate and automate their accounts receivable and payment posting processes.

Sustainability through serving community
Hospitals and health systems are inherently linked to their communities. They not only provide healthcare services, but impacts local economy, jobs and quality of life. Healthcare providers can work in partnerships with community organizations. They can use their position and financial resources to work with community organizations to drive positive change in their community. This helps in improving care for patients, environments for staff and their communities. Hospitals’ ability to facilitate partnerships with communities, leads to long term sustainability of the organizations.

Mitigating risks through Cost Accounting
For sustainability, hospital owners must be aware how much it costs to deliver patient care, both fixed and variable, so the business can generate enough revenue to cover operating expenses. An accurate cost accounting is vital for CFOs and financial leaders to make decisions regarding profits and losses. To mitigate financial risk, health care organizations need to understand the direct and indirect costs of running their organization in the short-term, and how these costs impacts long-term business strategies.

Maintaining Marketing & Branding Initiatives
In the digital age, marketing initiatives have shifted to customer empowerment. Addressing these needs will require health systems to invest financial resources to maintain viable marketing and brand initiatives. Through right healthcare consulting support, hospitals find it most effective to use both inbound and outbound marketing, to achieve improvement in footfall and increase in hospital revenues. Hospitals must also create and maintain a branding message that connects with the public. Sustainable marketing and branding initiatives require an amalgamation of technology, effective use of social media, community initiatives, differentiated services and excellent quality of patient care.

Sustainability through technology
The use of digital technologies, such as electronic health records represents a sustainable technological advantage for better access & quality, quick service delivery and error free record maintenance. Digital technologies are helping health care providers around the world to increase efficiency, reduce costs, improve access, make better decisions, automate processes, increase quality, and make customized care for patients. Sustainable health care organizations tend to develop or follow innovation by adopting new technologies for continuous improvement within health care delivery and systems.

Sustainability is critical for hospitals as changing market dynamics drive health systems toward long-term financial strategies. Health care organizations need to achieve a balanced and sustainable growth. It is also a formidable task to achieve that growth. The good news is that health care consultancies can help medical organizations navigate these challenges.

Sarathy advisory, a healthcare consulting organization, works on sustainable growth for hospitals and healthcare systems with a practical, feasible approach that aligns with budget considerations. We help strategically incorporate sustainability that can help hospitals save resources and become more efficient. connect with us info@sarathyadvisory.com

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