Learn measures you can implement to increase alignment and collaboration at your healthcare organization.

Medicus Healthcare Solutions has established nine tips to help you establish a strategy for success, better organization, effective leadership and engaged committee work and the continual measurement of outcomes.

  1. Follow four basic management principles.

Whether an organization is effective in executing on initiatives comes down to four basic functions: Plan, Organize, Lead, and Evaluate (POLE). Each function plays a significant role from strategy to execution, and understanding the elements of this process can help an organization to isolate which functions need to be addressed. Once the problem is identified, a company will be more efficient and effective in staying on course toward successful outcomes with the understanding of which specific function is failing to produce the intended results.

  1. Reflect on your organization's history with a critical eye.

Identify problems and acknowledge the damage they have caused. If you skip this step, harmful events of the past are likely to recur and will continue to impact your facility's infrastructure. Take enough time to pinpoint the issues and areas from which they stem. From there, it provides a clearer view of how to best accomplish the next set of goals.

  1. Ensure you have the right people and partners in place.

"Is our organization achieving desired outcomes?" Your answers to these questions can help you establish whether your organization has the correct resources to reach its goals. Are your employees and partners organized to contribute to the initiatives in their respective areas of strength? Once you have determined that you have the right people in place to achieve sought-after outcomes, focus all parties on what constitutes success and how to create it.

  1. Foster strategic alignment through clearly identified goals and accountability.

All facilities should focus on three areas: quality of care, patient satisfaction, and efficiency of process. Clearly build the goals of each individual and team to support the organizational objectives. Make those goals transparent and revisit them regularly with everyone affected so it is understood that there is an interdependence of each employee's success upon others.

  1. Build strategy into individual job responsibility with incentives.

Providing financial incentives and other motivation is a tried-and-true approach that proves exceptionally effective in terms of alignment, visibility, and trust. Incentive compensation is the obvious, "go to" option. Organized rewards are also effective tools. Some facilities have profit sharing or a bonus-type structure, and a small segment of healthcare organizations might give their providers some level of ownership. No matter what you choose, attractive compensation and recognition that matters to specific individuals can be a powerful tool to build alignment in the organization.

  1. Establish committees and regular meetings that provide a way for clinicians to discuss issues and find solutions.

This approach is powerful as it gives participants opportunities to collaborate and outline what your organization is doing well and what needs improvement. For optimum results, ensure transparency, engagement and the continuity of such committees and meetings.The participation of certain stakeholders can make a monumental difference from a cultural outlook, leadership viewpoint, and buy-in perspective.

  1. Get to benchmarks through committee work.

During the initial phase, a committee may consist of high-level executives who help with the planning function, identifying problems and crucial initiatives, and setting benchmarks to measure progress and ensure your organization is working toward improvement.

You might have a different committee that dives a level deeper to determine how to get to the benchmarks established by the executive committee, as well as how to break initiatives down into smaller tasks and groups. Similarly, another committee could assume accountability for making sure tasks are carried out and ensuring cultural buy-in. When you look at each level, you want the feedback that is coming from that collaboration and the visibility to go through to your teams.

It’s important to set the right goals based on desired outcomes. Consider bringing in an external resource, such as a partner experienced in project and resource management or consulting. A resource that can conduct an evaluation, identify the problems, and provide actionable solutions is surprisingly often the most practical and cost-effective approach.

  1. Secure buy-in and rebuild trust.

When your people have visibility to problems, benchmarks, and plans for solutions, you will have a higher level of buy-in. If there is a lot of finger-pointing, your leadership team needs to "lift up the hood" and strip down the challenges, so you can get to the root of what's happening. Changes happen more quickly and effectually when everyone is aligned and is transparent about their observations and feelings.

  1. If your strategy is not going according to plan, swiftly act on issues and/or correct it.

Seek feedback from your employees and partners. The information they provide will present you with valuable insight as to whether your strategy stands the test of time and whether your goals continue to be the right goals.

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