The business of health care is always changing, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for large providers of health care services to maintain their competitive advantage. So, how do they do it? More than ever before, hospitals are finding the monetary value in continuously evolving to meet changing community health needs.
“Innovation is key,” said Mark Nosacka, CEO of Good Samaritan Medical Center, a part of the Tenet Healthcare Corporation. “We have to constantly be reinventing ourselves and the processes we use to deliver high quality health care.”
And while innovation may not be a novel concept, Nosacka has taken a unique approach to managing change in his hospital.
Smart Business spoke with Nosacka about organizational change and how to become a successful competitor in the highly competitive health care service delivery market.
What is your philosophy on organizational change?
When I came to Good Samaritan Medical Center, I was personally dedicated to living in and becoming a part of the local community. Becoming involved in the hospital’s community helped me to understand the community’s needs. I also looked within our organization to the physicians, nurses and employees we had to increase our employee morale and pride.
I wanted to ensure that our physicians and staff could communicate their needs to the administration. What did they need from the hospital to do their jobs better? I also looked to the physicians to inform us about what the patients needed. We created routine meetings with our physicians and developed a physician advisory group. We did the same for our nurses and other staff members.
Then, we were able to determine what people, supplies and processes were needed to enhance the quality of the medical services we provide. In my experience, when employees have more influence on what goes on at the organizational level, they are better able to provide services reflective of community needs and demands.
How has your hospital’s organizational change influenced its business model and service lines?
After looking within our staff and consulting with them, we understood where we needed to improve as a hospital. Our mission statement changed to reflect our dedication to deliver safe, cost-effective care. We distinguished our hospital as a leader in providing quality, innovative care to the patients it serves.
The hospital environment shifted to administration becoming partners with the providers of care. Our organization was more cohesive, communicating and delivering services more efficiently. The hospital now operates with two ‘jobs’ there are those who take care of patients and those who take care of the people who take care of patients. Our priority is always focused on patient care.
From a business perspective, we have the ability to invest in new technologies and programs that our physicians and health care providers need to meet the demands of patients and to stay competitive.
How have you been able to maintain an upward trajectory of profitability while investing in new programs and services?
As in any business, profitability of a hospital relies on the ability to properly use resources and reinvest capital. Being part of the Tenet network helps us access best practices within our service lines, which allows us to be informed of innovative research-supported technologies and services. Furthermore, we have the purchasing power to adopt the new technologies, train our medical staff and employees and offer the services to the community. With these resources, we can be better at the bedside; we can provide evidence-based care with some of the latest technology at a competitive price.
Tenet has also assisted Good Samaritan with administrative leadership, including people who are specifically trained in health care finance and economics. Corporate leadership instills business processes into the local hospital. Businesses can struggle with financial management, and our hospital is able to leverage expertise at our corporate level to be best informed and manage our fiscal processes closely.
How has Good Samaritan Medical Center been able to overcome barriers to change and innovation?
At Good Samaritan, everything we do is reflective of our organization as a whole. Our physicians, nurses and employees have input; they help us align our hospital services with the medical community and our patients’ needs. Our ultimate goal is to continue to expand the legacy of Good Samaritan Medical Center. We will remain innovative and look from within to determine how we will expand our level of services to meet our community’s future needs.
We’ve also engaged in conversations with our doctors, nurses and employees to define how we will respond better to complex situations. Our hospital continuously reviews processes to revise and reinvent the ways that it provides care. This helps us foresee challenges and barriers and respond to them proactively.
While health care is a complicated business, I am confident that Good Samaritan will remain a strong competitor. We are unique in our ability to discern some of the latest technology in medicine while providing the best care using our resources efficiently. Health care is an art and a science; finding this delicate balance has allowed us to engage our staff, leverage our connection to Tenet, remain a viable business and, most importantly, please our patients. And at our core, we are people who take care of people.
Mark Nosacka is the CEO of Good Samaritan Medical Center. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.