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Hospital Fiscal Responsibility in Mission Statements: Does It Belong?

HealthLeaders MagazineA Sample of Hospital Mission Statements –Does Fiscal Responsibility Belong?


As a follow up to our No Margin, No Mission post, I thought I’d explore hospital mission statements to investigate how they balance margin and mission. I expected (and found) most led with a commitment to providing excellent physical, emotional and spiritual care, but was surprised to identify that many go on to make mention of “responsible use of resources” in some way.  Certainly, mission and margin are top of mind in many hospitals across the country.

Consider these interesting examples:

… mission is to provide quality health services for the community …  consistent with the best service we can give at the highest value for all concerned.

… mission is to provide healthcare services in a fiscally responsible manner which contribute to the physical, psychological, social and spiritual well being of the patients and community which it serves. 

… Ensure access to superior quality integrated health care for our community and expand access for underserved populations within the community …  Exhibit stewardship and creativity in the management of all available resources

… dedicated to providing quality, value driven health care to all we serve … committed to financial stability through efficient service

… to create and deliver superior health care solutions by providing our patients and other customers with optimal clinical and economic outcomes. … make the best use of our financial and human resources so we can care for patients without regard for their ability to pay

Fiscal responsibility through the conscientious use of resources is clearly top of mind in many hospitals, yet, according to The 2012 Patient Flow Challenges Assessment© conducted by AHA Solutions and jointly published with Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence (HPOE), even though hospitals consider patient flow essential to both care and competitiveness, a surprising 23.4% of organizations surveyed have no focus on patient flow.  It’s time to change that paradigm.  

Better Care and Better Bottom Line:  The TeleTracking Efficiency Paradigm

The federal government set aside $19 billion for hospitals to adopt electronic medical records, but how will that help hospitals with their pledge to trim $155 billion in waste under the current reform law?  Three out of four healthcare executives say it won’t help, according to the 2011 HeathLeaders Media Better Care and the Bottom Line survey. Seventy-three percent of those surveyed said technology incentives should go beyond EMRs to include operational and system efficiency needs.

To recap the study:  “There is available technology that can not only address overcrowding, but also reduce other operational inefficiencies and generate additional revenue at the same time. Yet, while most hospitals are quick to adopt new treatment technology, they are slow to accept work flow improvement solutions, perhaps because these are perceived as too ‘industrial’.

Although the TeleTracking commentary in this survey is attributed to a former executive of the organization, I, along with the rest of the TeleTracking leadership team, stand by the doctrine.  I  invite discussion on the  big question:  are the initiatives that go forward as healthcare reform is rolled going to have the impact we think they are going to have, or is there an operational/clinical cooperative that’s needed?  I believe the latter and at TeleTracking, we stand ready to serve the hospital community with solutions that hold the key to constant operational improvement and new marketing opportunities for those institutions able to take advantage of it.

-Michael Gallup

Categories: Author: Michael Gallup, No Margin, No Mission, Overcrowding, Patient Flow