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The Value of Healthcare Consulting

Healthcare ConsultingI recently joined Soriant Solutions and was sharing this new opportunity with a past colleague when they remarked: “Doesn’t hiring a consultant mean an organization isn’t smart enough to figure specific things out themselves?”  The answer is no.  Every company, including health care organizations, have a finite number of smart, ambitious, and hard-working people. And, here’s the crux of the problem, these people are already doing the most important jobs in the organization.  They are responsible for ensuring that patient care is put above all else, strategic plans are developed and implemented, and staff are engaged and happy.  They are focused on doing all the things necessary to keep the organization moving forward.

Most hospitals, health systems, and organizations in general have the opportunity to improve performance outcomes and drive cost efficiencies.  For healthcare specifically, the target areas with the most impact are clinical practice variation, labor costs, supply purchasing, and education on cost discipline.  To address these opportunities, Soriant Solutions’s consultants focus on the same disciplines across multiple organizations – they excel at learning, developing, and driving best practices implementation which in turn improves operating performance and reduces costs for the health care systems we work with. The sheer fact of being a healthcare consulting firm and being exposed to so many organizations helps Soriant stay on the cusp of new technology, best practices and tools.

We treat every engagement as a long-term partnership, and we make it our mission to enable your team with the knowledge, skills, and tools to drive sustainable initiatives.   We start by assessing your current operations and expenses, from supply spend through purchased services, and on to workflows.  Then, we’ll help you develop a strategic plan for managing the initiatives, whether cost reductions or strategic optimization, that doesn’t sacrifice value or performance.

Our implementation process is putting the strategic plan into action.  We provide the leadership, operational expertise, and requisite resources to execute the improvement initiatives, allowing the healthcare leadership team to stay focused on their tasks at hand.   Our primary objectives are to:

  • Reduce total cost per department, improving overall net income
  • Optimize spend performance
  • Improve workplace efficiency and quality outcomes
  • Reduce variation and implement cost discipline

No margin sustainability strategy is complete without first examining labor costs, which on average accounts for over half of total cost growth.  While labor cost management is vital to long-term financial success, leaders cannot simply “cut” their way to long-term financial improvement.  Soriant’s hospital consultants strongly believe that short-term cost-cutting only provides temporary relief and can negatively impact an organization’s relations with employees with no long-term gains to show for it.  Common roadblocks to achieving sustainable labor cost growth include:

  1. Healthcare management team receives inadequate training or does not have the tools necessary to manage the change
  2. Root processes are not identified
  3. Gains in one area can disrupt performance in another area

While labor is the most essential lever required to bend the cost curve it is not always the area that contributes the most financial incentive while balancing patient care.  The right management strategy addresses the annual scope creep in purchased services agreements and supply spend across an enterprise.  Maximizing value from non-labor spend can be a significant source of additional savings for even-top performing organizations.

Our approach guides health care organizations through a financial forecast to set the operating strategy which translates into a bottoms-up expectation for each department that we work with.  This approach, coupled with establishing the right management infrastructure needed to control variation, results in a consistent and sustainable strategy for achieving performance improvements, operating efficiencies, and cost savings.

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