Healthcare Issues & Trends

Advice & Insights for Healthcare's Leaders & HR Professionals

New Generation of Employees: Is a New Healthcare Workplace Model Necessary?

Posted on December 17, 2014 by INTEGRATED

Today, healthcare organizations face two compelling pressures: the first, a need to develop new management systems to better motivate and engage the next generation of employees, leaders, and physicians; and the second, a fundamental shift in the delivery of care due to dramatic payment reductions and outcome accountability.

These two tectonic shifts—occurring essentially at the same time—will cause the foundation of management approach and the providing of patient care to crumble if not addressed while there is still time. So, healthcare organizations across the nation need to retrofit their organizations to meet these two challenges of a changing employee population and the need to squeeze the highest amount of efficiency out of an inherently inefficient healthcare delivery model. Whether the current workplace model needs to be overhauled or completely will be the question for today’s healthcare executives.

So, what are common themes among innovative plans to “remodel” healthcare organizations?

  • Developing more flexible workplace and management systems. This includes new compensation models that focus more on skills and knowledge; more flexible time-off programs where employees can trade wage increases for time off; health insurance plans that reward lifestyle, not just health; and part-time leadership positions.
  • Using new technology to communicate and inform. Some hospitals are now providing an iPad to all employees with apps specifically designed to communicate key information, as well as provide continual contact and collaboration among organizational members.
  • Looking at both fundamental changes to the delivery of care and cutting costs. When people are involved on both ends of care—delivering and receiving—the human element requires flexibility and fights uniformity.
  • We are our own worst enemy. To reach the next level required by healthcare reform and significant reductions in payment, healthcare providers challenge some of the long-held patient care delivery beliefs that the more people, the better the care and the need for healthcare to be “community based.”

 To learn more about the overall trend of shifting venues in the delivery of healthcare, download our free whitepaper

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Growing Number of Medical Homes and Accountable Care Organizations: Reducing Number of Acute Care Facilities?

Posted on December 15, 2014 by INTEGRATED

What’s a driving factor in America’s healthcare revolution? The growing number of medical homes and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) is a powerful factor in the transformation that’s taking place. In fact, there are currently more than 7,000 Patient-Centered Medical Home programs and more than 600 public and private ACOs in the United States.

Medical homes of the past have typically focused on primary care. Today’s expanded medical home recognition programs, however, now offer the same opportunities in specialty medicine. And these establishments will keep advancing as savvy and cost-conscience patients seek alternative care at a more efficient cost and utilize smartphone apps as a symptom checker. On the other hand, ACOs are also becoming a dominant model in care delivery, representing the volume-to-value transition that has been the goal of many policymakers for several years.

Ultimately, as healthcare continues to change and uncertainty remains, the question becomes: will the growing number of medical homes and ACOs reduce the number of acute care facilities? The answer is still up for debate.

There are a few specific obstacles that healthcare organizations may need to overcome in the face of shifting venues:

  • Decrease in the number of independent hospitals and doctors due to hospital mergers and provider consolidation
  • Increase in tensions between hospitals, primary care physicians, and specialists as a result of fewer hospital admissions and procedures
  • Limited patient engagement due to consumers taking their health into their own hands                                                     

To learn more about the shifting venues in healthcare delivery, download our free whitepaper

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The Nurse's Role in the Future of Care Delivery

Posted on December 2, 2014 by INTEGRATED

The Affordable Care Act has given rise to new opportunities for nurses to deliver care and play an important role in leading change. As a result, there is an increasing demand for highly skilled nurses within a variety of care delivery environments. In fact, the American Nurses Association put together a Healthcare Transformation document, illustrating healthcare environments that need nurses, such as nurse-managed health centers, patient-centered medical homes, school-based health centers, and more.

So with the healthcare reform and rise of new healthcare delivery environments, what opportunities exist for nurses?

  • Greater funding to support nurse-managed clinics
  • Permission of different approaches to deliver primary care, creating an immense need for primary care nurse practitioners and nurse midwives
  • Ability to provide care within the various areas of emphasis in healthcare reform—chronic care management, school health, transitional care, and more—due to longstanding focus on wellness and prevention

The opportunities that exist within these shifting venues of healthcare delivery, however, raise new challenges and questions for today’s nurses. In particular, they drive the need to help achieve enhanced patient outcomes at more reasonable costs, provide better chronic care management for the aging and diverse population, and more.

What nursing challenges have resulted from today’s changing world of healthcare?

  • Not being identified as equal partners on care teams due to misconceptions—obliviousness—to their roles
  • Advanced degrees no longer being optional to contribute to the profession as opposed to simply needing to obtain minimum licensure
  • Volume of Baby Boomers in society, leading to disproportional nurse-to-patient ratios 

To learn more about the shifting venues in the delivery of healthcare and the affects on healthcare leadership additional members of the healthcare team, register today for tomorrow's webinar. Time is running out and you don't want to miss it!

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Changing Culture, Leading Strategy at Healthcare Organizations

Posted on November 21, 2014 by Don Seymour

You may have watched INTEGRATED’s Raising the Bar video series revolving around a current trend in today’s healthcare industry: decreasing payments and increasing risks. To provide you with additional healthcare insight, I served as a panelist in a HealthLeaders Media Executive Roundtable, “Changing Culture, Leading Strategy at Healthcare Organizations.”

Some important discussion points included:

  • Time horizons for culture change and strategic planning
  • Cultural alignment with market change
  • Key strategic issues ahead
  • The opportunity of disruptive change

One of the questions panelists were asked was whether organizations can accommodate the change needed in a fast-moving industry like healthcare. I mentioned that healthcare today is a 10-year horizon. That doesn’t mean providers shouldn’t be taking action now. The good news is that many of the things they have to do to be successful in the population health world, they also have to do to be successful in the acute care world.

Click to read the transcript of the roundtable discussion, which was featured in the October issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

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Planning for a New Type of Healthcare Leader in Today’s New Care Delivery Environments

Posted on November 6, 2014 by INTEGRATED

There’s a new trend emerging in healthcare: shifting venues in delivery of care. As the country’s services transition to new venues and approaches, so will the healthcare workforce. The question then becomes: do healthcare organizations need to plan for a new type of healthcare leader?

In short, the answer can go either way. The evolution of the healthcare industry does bring the need for new leadership skills so organizations can thrive and deliver high-quality, effective, and efficient healthcare to better meet the needs of highly engaged patients.

 What leadership skills are in-demand in today’s evolving healthcare industry?

  • Communication: The delivery of care is shifting to a variety of environments—hospitals to primary care practices, nursing facilities, retail drug stores, shopping malls, tablets and smartphones. It is increasingly critical for communication among these venues different roles to be well-organized and professional.
  • Innovation: As new and improved environments of care delivery arise, healthcare leaders are challenged in the face of change to drive their organizations to success with innovative thinking. And as William Pollard once said, “Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.”
  • Change and risk management: Along with strong skills in communication, leaders must swiftly make decisions in today’s transforming and oftentimes-uncertain healthcare environments. Additionally, the workforce to delivery care in these new venues will need to change. Leaders should be prepared to make strategic decisions amid consumer demand, legislative actions, mergers, and more.

To assist your organization with succeeding in today’s new care delivery environments, our own Kevin Haeberle and Jane Groves are hosting a 1-hour webinar on November 18, 2014 at 1 p.m. CST. And we need your help to pick the most important shifting venues question for them to address. Submit your vote by Monday, November 10 and look for a webinar invite in your inbox to find out if the question you voted for was chosen.

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