Preventive Care for your Health Care Business

Eat right and exercise. Do your screenings and check ups. Don’t smoke. Wear a helmet.

These are some of the basic recommendations health care professionals give to patients every day.

It’s great advice for protecting the body, but our health care clients are often surprised when we tell them that there is a similar set of measures they can take to protect their health care business from catastrophic damage-- a sort of organization-level kale salad or P90X for the healthcare industry.

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You see, health care, more than any other industry is undergoing constant change in the midst of unique challenges. And the combination of these changes and challenges is resulting in complete failure and shutdown of organizations who can’t manage them. You can read about a few of the casualties here.

What do these failed organizations have in common with their patients? Unfortunately, they were the ones who weren’t able to overcome certain risks, and they ended up with a poor outcome. They literally died.

What can your organization learn from this?

Just like your patients need to be eating right, exercising, and taking prevention into their own hands, your organization needs to do the same. In the world of health care, a cybersecurity breach can be as damaging as a stroke. A regulatory mis-step can upend your world like a cancer diagnosis. Poorly executed changes to medical records management, medication distribution, or reimbursements might as well be a motorcycle accident. And that’s just a handful of the things that can go wrong. There’s also patient safety issues, outbreaks, legal issues... the list goes on.

As a health care organization, you may be dealing with these challenges by developing a Risk Management strategy. At HealthGuard, we help clients like you visualize disaster before it happens so they’ll be ready to handle it should it come. Proper risk management makes an organization resilient. Although the test may come back positive or the car may slide into the ditch, it won’t be the end. They’ll be able to react, fix, heal.

But sometimes through Risk Assessment, you realize that you aren’t ready for the next disaster. You don’t have strategy, process, or systems in place to absorb the blow. That’s where the second piece comes in—Strategic Change Management. You are going to need to make some changes and roll those out, which is often not as easy as you think. Our partner Solarity has helped countless organizations do change the right way, and trust me, there are hundreds of ways to do it wrong. In fact, in our experience approximately 70% of transformation initiatives fail. Whether it’s because the correct problems aren’t addressed, the changes set off a chain reaction of other unforeseen problems, or lack of buy-in results in poor (or no) implementation, the end result is that those initiatives are not successful. They die.

But when it’s done right, Risk Management + Strategic Change Management = Resilience.

And there’s one more thing-- a bonus, of sorts, that’s akin to a patient going into surgery for a hip replacement and coming out as the Six Million Dollar Man (feel free to adjust that figure for inflation).

The Becker Hospital Review list I linked to earlier highlighted the organizations that weren’t able to navigate the changing industry-- the ones that shut down. Let’s talk about the organizations that were not on the list. What was different about them?

Some of those survivors not only were able to absorb the blows they were dealt, they were also poised to take advantage of that change. It opened up new opportunities for them, which they were positioned to seize. When disaster struck, they not only weathered it, they leveraged it. They picked up the pieces others left behind. They got better and stronger.

 That’s the real goal.

 Risk Management + Strategic Change Management = Resilience + Opportunity

 That’s what we want for our clients.

 That’s our best outcome.

Want to learn more about managing risk in your healthcare organization? Visit our events page to sign up for our free webinar: 3 Keys to Building an Effective Healthcare ERM Program.

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