Restructuring Service Lines for Success

January 28, 2015

MIHS logo B&WService lines may be the mainstay of your organization, but are you using them strategically for the realities of today’s marketplace? If not, you could be missing some important potential for getting, and keeping, your patients.

Responding to the Current Climate

Health care reform has changed the way most hospitals do business—and the impact includes an increased emphasis on value and accountability that extends through all of the levels of care. One of the ways to survive such high demands is to create and build strong and efficient service lines that are also carefully positioned within your system so that over
time they will thrive, explains Howard Gershon, FACHE, a Strategic Health Care Marketing Editorial Advisory Board member and founding principal of a management consultancy called New Heights Group in Santa Fe, N.M.

Gershon recently joined William F. Vanaskie, FACHE, executive vice president and COO of Maricopa Integrated Health System in Phoenix, at the American College of Healthcare Executives’ meeting in December of 2014. Both men talked about the need for creating service lines that will fit into the evolving value-based landscape.

A Shifting Focus Toward Caring for Patients’ Health

A Maricopa Integrated Health System physicians attends to a child in the emergency department of the Arizona Children’s Center in Phoenix.

(Click to enlarge.) A Maricopa Integrated Health System physicians attends to a child in the emergency department of the Arizona Children’s Center in Phoenix.

Gone are the days when service lines were viewed solely as a means to bolster a lagging bottom line. Gershon says that today, the focus of service lines has progressed to be more about “caring for people’s health,” and doing so in an efficient and effective way. Of course the financial gains will follow, since patients will be better served and more engaged by such an approach. As a result of this shift, modern service lines are much more comprehensive than in past generations and they also have stronger leaders at the helm who better understand the business side of the equation, Gershon explains.


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