StrategyLeader® L.A.T.I.N Adaptability
ADAPTABILITY- "Nothing is Sacred" Just as the leader must change when the business changes, so must the strategy. Strategy is built on what is happening externally in the market, with the competition, when new technologies displace the old and the socio/political/ governmental factors and when they change so must the strategies. In addition the resources may change such as the ability to finance, ability to innovate, market, produce and compete. So the strategic winner must be willing to change the strategies, even if it means reducing the focus on what may have made the organization a winner in the first place. Equally important is a willingness to admit mistakes and change the strategies and priorities. History is littered with illustrations of companies that refused to adapt and kept betting on past and not future.
CHANGES THAT HEALTHCARE LEADERS NEED TO RESPOND TO: We discussed in our last note that the reason that strategic thinking, planning and leadership is now so critical is that all of the key stakeholders, the micro and macro-environment is changing both rapidly and significantly. Stakeholders include customers, suppliers, employees, communities, educational organizations, governments and others.
Let’s outline some of the most significant patient changes in the healthcare industry and the strategic opportunities:
1. Aging: The population is aging and there will continue to be more need to care for the elderly. Opportunity: This may mean more “home centered and mobile” care opportunities.
2. More multinational, racial and religious diversity that will require more language skills, more understanding of the cultural and religious beliefs and more competition from “non-traditional” healthcare approaches and practices. Opportunity: Partner with some of the non-traditional services that complement and enhance your offerings.
3. More knowledge: Patients have more and more information available to them. Opportunity: provide more information to patients and make them part of the decision process and in improving their own health.
4. Paying more of their own healthcare costs: Patients are being required to pay more for their care. Opportunity: provide more information to patients that enable them to know how much they must pay for their services or procedures PRIOR to their being provided. (Enablemyhealth® provides programs to do this).
5. Willing to shop for healthcare services: Patients are willing to shop around and have become less loyal. Opportunity: become more “patient focused” and have programs that encourage them to maintain loyal to your organization.
All Healthcare Stakeholders Must ADAPT Their Expectations and Perceptions!!
Healthcare is going through a revolution but its key stakeholders have had a hard time to accept it! But to improve both the quality and availability of healthcare the key stakeholders must change what they expect and how they perceive healthcare.
Traditional Key Stakeholders Expectations:
• Patients are not use to paying for healthcare. They have had the benefit of private, corporate and government insurance and subsidies to pay their bills. They don't shop or even ask what it will cost, since they believe that someone else will pay the bill and their healthcare providers will only change what it costs.
• Healthcare providers, including physicians, alternative medicine and their supporting staff believe that cost is irrelevant and their only concern is provide the best treatment regardless of cost. Further most providers don't want to deal with business and cost. The result is that many are now have serious cash flow problems and many are going bankrupt or being forced to become "hired hands" and not have their own private practices.
• Governments have consistently tried to control all aspects of the healthcare industry since they believe that they are the only organizations that can control the quality and cost of healthcare. Many believe and are dedicated to a ONE PAYER system, which is socialized medicine.
• Pharmaceutical and Equipment suppliers and developers believe that they have the right to receive large returns since it is so capital intensive and has high risks to develop drugs, treatments and systems.
• Hospitals and care centers believe that they must have the best most current equipment and facilities regardless of cost. Most believe that being "non-profit" gives them right to charge whatever is required and not worry about cash flow. This is forcing consolidations and increasing numbers of bankruptcies, as well as forcing consolidations and increasing numbers of bankruptcies, as well as more legal actions against their own patients.
• Healthcare educational facilities believe should limit the number of trained and licensed professionals and use the long, outdated methods to train them. Further they too believe cost is not an issue.
• Trail lawyers and associations believe that they are the watchdogs of the profession and must protect the patients from all malpractice even if it is costly and inhibits some innovations and creativity.
In short, the entire system is based on a false premise that cost and cash flows is not an issue and all of the stakeholders refuse to take responsibility for making healthcare a sound, cost and quality effective system. THIS MUST CHANGE!