In the current healthcare environment most hospital systems and IDN’s have one or more of the following goals: improved quality of care; outstanding patient satisfaction; growing capacity to provide more integrated healthcare; and cutting costs. Based on the numbers, healthcare facility development or expansion is likely in your future. Forward thinking and planning leads to positive action, and that’s how your expansion project will be developed. However, unlike other businesses, healthcare facilities have stringent laws and guidelines, checks and balances in every department. So, how do you guarantee your patient-centered project will be a successful venture?
The real nuts and bolts of your expansion project is efficiency in capital spending; you don’t want to over-spend on equipment or supplies you may not need. Yet, you certainly don’t want to be caught short days after your grand opening.
Here are some insights that healthcare consultant Margaux Sprinkel of Franklin Street shared in Healthcare Finance.com to successfully drive your facility’s expansion project while controlling capital spending:
1. You aren’t just building a new site; you are building excitement within your community.
Develop a timeline for press releases and promotions. “One of the most common mistakes facilities make,” says Sprinkel, “is waiting too long to engage the public.” Get their opinions early in the planning process. Be clear about the advantages of this expansion so you can speak to the need for your facility’s development. Examples of promotional positives could include:
Your new facility will be closer to growing residential areas.
You will focus on becoming a more technologically advanced treatment center.
Your physicians and staff are focusing on the future of superior patient care.
Engage your community by scheduling speaking engagements, question/answer sessions, and town hall meetings. Community groups you will especially want to consider include:
EMS and fire department(s)
Your current or future healthcare workers and staff
Facilities maintenance staff
Don’t forget to include fundraising projects targeting support from your foundation and the philanthropic community. Building a core of support among these powerful people is essential to your expansion project’s success as well as your facility’s long-term success. Include their members in your grand opening, and make that event as grand as possible, complete with giveaways, educational and health-informative booths, learning-through-play activities for children, and, of course, your foundation’s membership and pledge information.
2. This is the time for you and your team(s) to make a thorough inventory.
Assess equipment and consider using RFID (radio frequency identification) tagging so you’ll know the exact location and quantities of your equipment. As you discover underused assets in your inventory, check with your other facilities within your healthcare system to see if they have a need for that equipment. Always eliminate waste in supplies wherever possible.
You should also inventory service contracts to ensure you have the appropriate level of coverage. You want your equipment to maximize its lifespan, but 24/7 service coverage on a unit that is only used 1 or two hours per day could be reduced and save money.
3. Assets management and coordinated equipment delivery should work with your expansion project’s timeframe, not the equipment suppliers’.
For over 25 years, healthcare system purchasing managers, GPO teams and medical department buyers have relied on CME for supply chain solutions, because we know the supply chain management process for major medical equipment items has to extend well beyond the basics of the primary hospital/healthcare system. Maintaining equipment control, assets management, and ensuring there is no “disconnect” in patient treatment and services as you transition is how CME will assist with your expansion project planning.
Call or contact us for additional information about capital equipment planning and delivery.
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