Ontrols and Indicators for a hospitals CEO
You are the CEO of a 342-bed acute-care hospital with several clinics. While reflecting on your experiences during the past year, you decide to create plus and minus columns listing the things you are pleased with and things you have vowed to change.
In the plus column, you realized that you have several solid senior management team members and many competent department directors. Because of the location of the hospital, you enjoy zero competition. You have good capital equipment and a solid infrastructure. The hospitalas reputation in the community is good; in fact, your hospital is viewed as the regionas principal medical center.
In the minus column, however, you realize that most of your senior management team, including yourself and the chief medical director, has been reduced to a?fire fighters.a? You found yourself constantly jumping from one problem area to another, never having enough time to enjoy your job, to explore new possibilities, or to visit physicians, governmental officials, members of the public, or employees. You are literally pinned down in your office, worrying about vendors will be able to deliver out-of-stock items, dealing with broken equipment, and responding to unhappy patients and their family members. Many employees are also unhappy, as demonstrated in the recent employee satisfaction survey.
As you begin to consider your options for change, you happen to read an article stating that hospitals are like ocean liners, in that there are many departments and operations, and all are meant to serve the public. In short, you and your management team are the equivalent of the senior leadership of a large cruise ship, and you are at the helm. This helps you realize that just like the shipas captain; you understand what is going on everywhere. What is ahead? Are you approaching an iceberg? Are heavy winds rising? Are the passengers happy? Is the crew about to stage a mutiny?
These thoughts help you and your senior team realizes that you need gauges, instruments, and warning indicators that you can monitor periodically. You need information that is simple and concise, and can be trended to reveal what is really happening on the ship.
One of your team members suggests that in addition to macro indicators such as the average daily census, you need micro indicators from each department. These indicators can alert you to when the ship is going off course. You want fixed sets of controls and indicators that will enable you to be proactive and stop problems before they arise, rather than to react to problems and continue your firefighting.
What do you and your team suggest? What set of macro indicators are you going to monitor? What specific micro indicators do you want your department directors to watch? Why did you select these indicators? How often should they be monitored?