By Hank Neuhoff
When you’ve invested significant time, capital, and resources in your organization’s growth and expansion, you want to ensure that your efforts are paying off.
You’ve walked through all the right steps for strategic growth planning: you conducted a business and operational analysis, developed a strategic plan, and your team has been executing against it. This planning process can be daunting for any team to manage, but especially so if you are a smaller hospital or one of the many hospital systems trying to maintain a growth mindset in the face of downsizing.
You have now arrived at step 8 of a successful strategic growth process: reviewing your plan’s execution to measure progress. The purpose of this review is to make sure your hard work is paying off and your goals are being achieved.
To effectively tackle this process, it is helpful to have your plan readily available so you can refer to the goals you initially set:
- Were you hoping to increase revenue in your market? If so, in which service lines?
- Did you need to pull more volume to your facility? If so, how much?
- Was your goal to provide a new access point to your care network?
As you review your plan again and answer each of these questions, you will have a better understanding of the details and progress points you should be tracking. Once you define what key metrics you would like to measure, then you can begin the important next step—collecting the data. As you pull financial ratios, operational statistics, and volume numbers you will get a picture of how your growth plan is progressing.
Clean data sets are free of errors and gaps, and more importantly, they are easily manipulated to show different views, and as a result, different insights.
- Do you want to see monthly volume trends at your new freestanding emergency center?
- Are you looking for specific ER levels for these trends?
It’s important to have the option to drill-down into into specific details so you can clearly define if your growth goals are being achieved. This is why it is helpful to have a reliable analytics partner on your team—one with a transparent system for cleaning, sorting, and managing data.
Once your metrics have been established and your data is being collected, the last step is to create a performance dashboard. This is where the full picture of your findings is presented in a clear and concise way. Visuals are important in displaying the data that has been collected—line or bar charts to show the ups and downs of certain performance indicators. Strong visuals will make sure the information you present is easily digestible and will lead to more productive and strategic conversations around growth.
It is helpful to determine and commit to a plan for periodic reporting. Typically, a monthly or quarterly reporting schedule is appropriate and should include trending metrics of your investment. Establishing these regular check-ins will ensure your team stays on track with reaching the intended goals.
Overall, aim to keep this process simple so it is easily replicated. Regular tracking of your growth plan execution will highlight the positive progress your team is making and encourage them team to stay focused throughout the year, even when you are many months removed from the initial strategy meeting.
Effective tracking of strategic growth plan execution is crucial for a healthcare organization looking to successfully grow and increase influence within their service area. Without a good system for tracking your progress, you can easily lose sight of your goals and fail to make the desired progress. Your strategic growth plan ensures that everyone in your organization is working toward a clearly expressed growth outcome, and regular tracking will help everyone follow through and meet expectations. It takes a strong, organization-wide commitment to create, execute, and follow through with a strategic plan. But, end the end, the growth you will see makes it worth all the effort.
Interested in creating a strategic plan for your organization, but not sure where to start? Request a discovery call and find out how Stratasan can work alongside your team, support your growth planning efforts, and set you up for success.
Article by Hank Neuhoff, Director of Continuous Improvement for Stratasan