Deloitte recommends that systems use standard operations improvement processes, take advantage of size and scale, coordinate care and focus on reducing clinical errors, and either lower unused capacity or fill existing beds to improve utilization.
Instead of relying on a bottom-up approach to cost reduction, the paper's authors recommend identifying how much total cost the health system can support and then determining cost objectives based on an acceptable operating margin that are then spread among segments of the organization. To get each department and stakeholder involved in cost reduction, Deloitte says, it's crucial that the tone at the top inspire a culture of engagement and adaptation to change. That may mean accepting innovation in operating models, support structures, clinical care processes and various relationships in order to achieve effectiveness in operations at a lower cost.
And it requires innovation in the information technology area, according to the authors. An investment in IT can be a critical step in cutting costs, despite often being seen as driving costs upward.
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