Growing Alignment Among Stakeholders in Addressing Health System Challenges

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Clinicians and hospital executives agree that reducing costs is a focus area for health systems in 2018

By Melinda Thiel

When surgeons map out their workdays, they are faced with a host of challenges that requires their attention beyond their primary commitment to delivering high quality patient care. From extensive administrative tasks, like charting, reporting and other paperwork, to ever longer hours spent navigating a constantly shifting healthcare environment, these administrative tasks are growing and require more time than ever before. Meanwhile, hospital executives face their own challenges as the pace of change in healthcare requires them to navigate the current shift from volume to value to help their health systems reduce costs, improve clinical outcomes and enhance patient satisfaction.

However, despite their different roles and perspectives, operating room clinicians and hospital executives are aligned on focus areas for U.S. health systems in 2018, according to the Voices for Value Insight Series*. The survey was conducted online between September 7 and 13, 2017 among 92 executives and clinicians at large U.S. health systems.

While reduction of costs is a top focus area, there is also agreement between operating room clinicians and hospital executives about the need to maintain a strong focus on improving the quality of patient care and the patient experience. Overall, here’s how the two groups responded:

  • Reducing costs (75% of respondents ranked this as their top focus area)
  • Improving the quality of patient care (57% of respondents ranked this as a focus area)
  • Improving the patient experience and patient behavior change (48% of respondents ranked this as a focus area)
  • Improving outcomes (48% of respondents ranked this as a focus area)
  • Improving staff satisfaction (21% of respondents ranked this as a focus area)

While hospital executives and clinicians are generally aligned about the focus areas for their health systems, there are some areas of divergence. Hospital executives more frequently identified reducing costs as a 2018 focus area compared to operating room clinicians (83% versus 66%). But, that said, clinicians also identified reducing costs as their top focus area. This relative alignment bodes well for the ability of health systems to address the challenge of reducing costs proactively.



Here are some other insights from this survey:

  • Hospital executives more frequently chose recruiting and retaining qualified staff (31%), policy uncertainty around changes to the health system (43%) and increased regulatory burden (17%) as areas of concern.
  • Clinicians more frequently chose improving quality of patient care (62% versus 52%) and outcomes (56% versus 41%) as areas of concerns.
  • Both agreed on the need for improved perioperative efficiency (64% and 56%, respectively) and three out of four executives and clinicians think such improvements may help overall performance, cost and time challenges.

Our survey results indicate the two groups appear to be aligned this year when it comes to serving their patients’ needs as the industry shifts towards a value-based care model.

*The survey was conducted online between September 7 and 13, 2017 among 92 executives and clinicians at large U.S. health systems.

Melinda Thiel is Vice President, Customer Marketing & Solutions for Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies.

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