Healthcare is constantly evolving—clinically, operationally, and technologically.  For example, two out of three hospitals are now part of an integrated delivery network, and while the entire industry has made electronic health records a part of their technology platform, the same type of evolution hasn’t happened with operational platforms. Yet, an operational platform is critical to helping a health system achieve true operational integration and help drive financial and clinical benefits for the communities they serve.

A health system command center anchors a centralized approach to care and achieving overall systemness. The five key capabilities that evolve as a result, include:Creating systemness: A roadmap for health system efficiency

  • Aligning executives: The executive team sets the tone of evolution, encourages staff to adapt and adhere to new processes, uses data to help drive decision-making, and communicates the benefits of the centralized approach to care
  • Engaging physicians: Physician relationships are cultivated by bringing them into the network, encouraging participation in patient flow governance meetings, and obtaining buy-in and engagement with the command center team.
  • Standardizing operations: A well-defined organizational and planning structure is another component to creating centralization and systemness. A Patient Flow Steering Committee, with representation from different departments, is essential.
  • Knowing facilities: Creating cohesiveness across units, departments, and hospitals starts by establishing the specific expertise, capabilities, and services of each location so teams know the best, most effective place to refer patients for treatment, what policies and procedures are in those hospitals, and what levels of care each facility provides.
  • Promoting accountability: A scorecard is the daily, consistent representation of systemness. It unifies the leadership team, the clinical team and the operational team. The scorecard provides the framework to monitor where bottlenecks may be, drives change and leads to the implementation of improvements.

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