As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to severely strain regional health systems, new financial, operating and competitive headwinds have emerged. The past 18 months have exposed the financial vulnerability of health systems, many of which relied on government subsidies to address operating shortfalls.1 Widespread clinician burnout threatens to exacerbate an already critical shortage of healthcare workers.2 Meanwhile, non-traditional competitors are entering the market and aggressively pursuing high-growth segments of the care continuum. Collectively, these pressures pose a formidable challenge to the ability of regional health systems to deliver effectively on their missions.
Regional providers may need to do more with less in the next normal. They will need to act with greater speed, ambition and rigor than before — and take on multiple priorities at once. Foremost in their minds is prioritizing the best way to care for patients, ensuring their safety and health. Launching an intensive, organization-wide transformation can help regional healthcare providers rebuild their organizational and financial backbone for long-term sustainability.