The first stage of our program begins with the Productivity Assessment of the entire organization. During the assessment, C2 HEALTHCARE will review the past and current performance of the operation regarding labor and volume. During the assessment, select studies will be developed from various areas to evaluate the existing level of proactive management. During this time, we determine what expectations are placed on the front-line manager and what levels of accountability exist. A typical study during the Productivity Assessment will relate the labor cost to the volume and compare to the established targets. Although it is unrealistic to expect the front-line managers to staff exactly to the volume every day, with timely information and proactive management, variance gaps can be compressed. Compressing these gaps leads to decreased cost. In addition, during staff shortages due to increased volume, higher quality and service will be achieved by flattening the variances and matching staff to the volume.
At the conclusion of the Productivity Assessment, conservative savings estimates will be generated to outline the potential savings and return on investment. Upon completion, the results will be communicated to senior administration for the next step, generating appropriate targets. This information coupled with the institution’s cost reduction goals, will be the basis for the Target Generation stage.
In the second stage, Target Generation, senior administration, finance, and C2 HEALTHCARE work closely to establish reasonable yet desired productivity targets. The targets include hours and cost per unit of service, volume, and other pertinent goals such as overtime and non-productive levels. If a cost reduction is not desired and the Operational Improvement Program is being used for management development and training, the existing budget targets are used. These targets are the driving force of the Operational Improvement Program and will be the foundation of the program. The next step is to communicate these expectations and targets to the next level.
The third stage of our program is the Communication Campaign. This stage is a crucial element of the Operational Improvement Program. At this point, senior administration communicates the overall vision and purpose of the Operational Improvement Program. In addition, each department head and/or manager will be given their specific productivity targets. Communication of clear expectations to the front line is critical for this program to excel. Once communicated, the manager needs the training and tools to meet the expectations.
It is not enough to communicate to your managers that they will need to change the way they manage to meet new expectations. In the fourth stage, Boot Camp for Managers, the front-line manager will be given a complete overview of proactive management and the available tools to implement change. In Boot Camp, we will coordinate a comprehensive interactive session to provide each manager a re-training of the existing management tools, training for The Bi-Weekly Productivity Report, and the innovative principles of proactive management. In addition, support areas such as Finance, Materials Management, Decision Support, and Human Resources can also present various reports and available services. During the proactive management section of Boot Camp for Managers, C2 HEALTHCARE directs a management development class aimed at training the front-line manager to become a consultant. We start with a discussion centered on the reasons for low productivity. After covering these widespread Symptoms of Low Productivity, we investigate the corresponding Remedies for Low Productivity. While relating these ideas and solutions to their specific departments, the managers reveal their existing barriers to optimal productivity. At this point, we are identifying the key limiting barriers for each manager to overcome. Experiences from management consulting and leadership roles since 1991 have been documented and these case studies present common causes of workflow barriers leading to deficiencies in productivity and cost. During Boot Camp, we discuss these topics and how they relate to everyday life. These innovative principles and creative management techniques not only are necessary to make the necessary changes, but they create the environment of continuous improvement. This leads to the fifth stage of the program, which is the Implementation.
In the fifth stage, Implementation, we initiate the targets and expectations with the use of the OPTIX Reporting System. The OPTIX Reporting System reflects the performance of the entire organization on a 2-week (pay period) interval. The report includes all hospital departments and reflects the fte and salary statistics with relation to volume and cost. With the payroll information provided by the hospital, the reports are made immediately. In this environment, each manager is routinely planning and following up the workload on a daily- basis. By doing this, expense fluctuations and premium spending are avoided, thereby enabling lower costs. With this, the manager can now focus their attention on improving the department and influencing the bi-weekly and monthly performance with various solutions developed in the detailed work-study. This proactive approach promotes initiative and ownership for important management decisions.
In the final stage, Follow Through, we bring the entire program together to meet the desired expectations. By uniting senior management’s expectations, Boot Camp for Managers, and daily proactive management with the OPTIX Reporting System, managers achieve and surpass the desired targets. This stage stresses involvement, implementation and information. During this time, C2 HEALTHCARE works closely with the department heads and front-line managers to create and implement creative strategies to bring the department to target. Our interaction is characterized as a facilitator and continues for the remainder of the engagement. Although C2 HEALTHCARE has a specified time period for the engagement, the Follow Through stage is perpetual and strives for continuous improvement while enhancing the ability to make appropriate changes in the future. The result is a more efficient organization with a front-line management team acting as business partners.