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Driving Down Operational Costs

The Challenge
A large health care organization discovered that if it didn’t reduce the cost of providing care, it would soon be deeper in the red than it already was—and dangerously so. The organization decided to shift to patient-focused care, an approach in which the work teams are organized and focused around the patient’s point of view rather than the point of view of each specialist and department. The change was daunting: The physicians and specialists needed to team up but were highly reluctant to do so. They entered their line of work, they said, because they liked the work—not because they wanted to team with others to reduce health care costs.

The Solution
A Selby Group consultant worked with the vice presidents, directors and managers to establish operating budget targets and supported them in determining how to meet the targets. She developed quality management training materials, taught Train the Trainer workshops, and worked directly with line project teams to apply quality improvement techniques that had traction.

The Result
The organization created proactive teams that together changed the way they provided their services. This new shift in patient care not only made patients happy, it reduced the organization’s yearly operating costs by $8.6 million!