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Hospital CEOs Rank Financial Challenges as Top Concern

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According to a recent FierceHealth article, hospital executives' top concern in 2014 was how to meet the financial challenges associated with running their businesses. These findings were reported from the results of an annual survey conducted by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

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The results from this year's survey were similar to those from surveys in 2012 and 2013, when financial challenges also topped CEOs' list of concerns. "Taking care of patients and improving patient safety and quality in their organizations is job No. 1, but CEOs acknowledge they must do so in a climate of complex payment reform, dwindling reimbursements and increased government mandates," Deborah J. Bowen, president and CEO of ACHE, said in a statement that accompanied the published results of the survey.

Hospital and health systems are transforming their foundations and infrastructures to cut costs and improve care. Hospital leaders nationwide are facing challenges to make system-wide decisions that can help boost the quality of care, improve outcomes and simultaneously reduce their costs. These system-wide decisions must be supported by new care coordination strategies that facilitate and improve collaborative care and help providers with proactive care planning, enhanced communications and care follow-up that will improve health outcomes, while reducing costs for their patient care.

Our healthcare executives need the ability to make sure that all participants in their care delivery stream are doing their parts. Monitoring usage and compliance with shared plans of care and best practices for specific populations will lower risk of variation, allowing providers to match the right services with the right costs across their patient populations.

This requires care coordination that deliberately organizes patient care activities and the sharing of information among all of the participants concerned with a patient's care. A patient’ s needs and preferences must be known ahead of time and communicated at the right time to the right people. This information can then be used to provide safe, appropriate and enhanced patient care.

Care Transition Notifications (CTNs) driven by Admit-Discharge-Transfer (ADT) data are an effective way of establishing care coordination during episodes of care. Patients transitioning from one provider or healthcare setting to another will not get lost in the shuffle. CTNs provide important details that give insights into an extremely complex set of care decisions that are being made by care teams, allowing a continuity of care that not only improves outcomes, but also prevents unnecessary, redundant costs for providers.

These care decisions can also benefit from the involvement of providers in active care relationships with a patient, such as a patient’s primary care physician or specialists with knowledge of the patient’s history. CTNs can follow active care relationships across the entire healthcare spectrum and notify organizations and physicians of important events in their patient’s care. This information is essential for doctors to improve coordinated treatment and patient outcomes and, ultimately, reduce costs.

The results to healthcare providers who use CTNs: reduced costs, improved services utilization and enhanced care quality.

If you are one of the healthcare executives whose top concern is how to deal with today’s financial challenges, please contact us to learn more about how CTNs can help your hospital.

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