By Shivani Mohan and Brandon Klar
With the evolving pressures faced by the healthcare industry today, health systems across the country, such as Jefferson Health (Philadelphia, PA), realize it is time for dynamic change to stay relevant, but are challenged to balance short-term needs with enterprise transformation. Jefferson Health operates in the fiercely competitive Philadelphia healthcare market and has experienced expansion over the past five years with new affiliate partners across a broad geography. In 2017, Jefferson Health embarked on an eight-year partnership with GE Healthcare. It was designed with a long-term horizon because both parties acknowledged that sustained improvements over the long-term must include foundational, transformational, and aspirational results. For the past 20 months since the partnership launch, leadership has been focused keenly on:
- driving financial and operational performance improvements that need to be addressed across the enterprise now; and
- designing and activating innovations that will facilitate the organization’s vision of “reimagining health, education, and discovery to create unparalleled value.”
To drive financial and operational performance improvement across the enterprise now, the team is focusing on successfully improving revenue cycle operations, human capital efficiency, talent acquisition, seamless access, physician enterprise management, growth, system integration, and clinical care redesign. As a result, the organization met and surpassed its financial goals during the first year. But to do so in an environment that is evolving quickly required leveraging tools both tried and true (process re-engineering, change management, lean, and organized program management) as well as more unique analytic tools such as simulation modeling using a “digital twin” of the hospital.
The second year of the partnership involves the implementation of predictive analytic tools that leverage the organization’s own information systems supplemented with algorithms using artificial intelligence to create a multi-hospital “clinical command center” that will ultimately utilize common applications across the system to maximize patient safety, efficient use of acute services, and load balancing for ancillary resources to enhance patient throughput and access. While the emphasis has been on building the foundational blocks for a high reliability organization and harmonization across the enterprise thus far, the goal is to build upon those blocks to truly transform the way healthcare is delivered.
As the relationship evolves, the partnership’s focus will assure that foundational improvements are maintained, and that new opportunities are identified to partner on delivering innovative care across the healthcare continuum. This may include leveraging AI to improve clinical safety and productivity, expanding the use of predictive analytics to improve access across the continuum, and co-developing strategies for precision health.
Jefferson and GE Healthcare are in the healthcare industry together because they care about delivering high quality patient outcomes and creating a space for engaged employees to continually improve the care experience for consumers as well as themselves. A critical aspect of the partnership, especially considering constant change both in the environment and for an evolving health system is the use of a “relational governance” structure to manage the relationship. The concept of one unified GE Healthcare and Jefferson team with one goal is a direct result of this structure. It creates a safe forum for transparent feedback and cross organizational collaboration and alignment, and adjustment if necessary. As a result, if organizational needs change or unforeseen circumstances arise, it allows for both organizations to be nimble and pivot as needed on the collective approach, while the focus on the desired outcomes remains steadfast. This, along with a business model that aligns the organizations to the same goal creates the cornerstone for an enduring relationship. So far, after a year and a half, this model has already allowed the parties to shift resources, areas of emphasis, and approach to achieve short-term results while the activities driving bolder innovation can continue.
Brandon Klar, MHSA, is a managing director at GE Healthcare Partners with over 15 years of experience in healthcare management. He specializes in strategic and business planning advisory services, including service line planning, master facility planning, and transaction work (e.g., mergers, acquisitions, affiliations, joint ventures). He has extensive experience in the creation of strategic partnerships, the facilitation of inaugural health system strategic plan development, as well as the creation and implementation of business plans of efficiency, system-wide integration plans and clinical programmatic alignment plans.
Shivani Mohan., MBA, is senior director at GE Healthcare Partners with over 11 years of experience in healthcare consulting and management. Her experience includes building high-performance teams, developing strong client relationships, establishing rapport and credibility with individuals at all levels, and creating practical solutions to complex business challenges. Her in-depth knowledge of operational, clinical, and information management needs pertaining to hospitals, large integrated delivery networks, academic medical centers, medical practices, executives, physicians, and other healthcare delivery professionals, enables her to design unique strategies for execution.