Failure to invest in infrastructure has created more red ink in employed practices than any other single issue. The problems are two-fold: having the right people in the right positions and having the necessary resources to support practice operations. Operational leadership – plus IT, HR, accounting and finance, revenue cycle and purchasing – should be standardized across all practices.

Tip 42: IT must yield the information required to deliver quality care.

Many groups utilize the IT platform adopted by the hospital, and are told to live with the physician module. That makes sense in a hospital-centric world. But as the key driver of success shifts to managing care across the continuum, the quality data from the practices will be essential. Needless to say, the criteria for selecting IT will likely shift.

Tip 43: It must yield the information required to manage the practices.

While easier to acquire than quality data, many hospital-centric systems do not translate well to physician practices. Among the current generation of systems, a number do a decent job with practice operations. Evaluate that capability along with the hospital-specific capabilities.

Tip 44: You must have the array of functional resources needed to manage the practices.

Over-invest in financial resources for two reasons. Those investments will help you manage the revenue cycle. They will also help focus your financial systems on producing useful information. Both are absolutely essential for success!

Tip 45: Skills and capabilities of the practice executive are a key success factor.

Promoting someone from the hospital to manage the physician network is almost certain to create a fiasco. Invest in a practice manager and build the resources around them to make the group a success. These groups are substantial businesses. Remember that when you make leadership decisions.

Tip 46: Your organizational structure must be clear and unambiguous.

We see many hospitals with no clear organizational structure, making it hard to manage and hold people accountable. Reduce the ambiguity. The physicians need to understand how they fit into the organization.

Tip 47: Maximize efficiencies with your organizational structure.

Consider the organizational models that will help you position the network to meet future demands. Understand the trade-offs of your decisions and their long-term impact. Then move.

Tip 48: Acquire the depth of talent needed to manage and grow the group.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is under-investing, assuming that the practice leader you inherit in an independent practice is good and will meet your needs. Do not make that mistake. Decide what your end structure should look like and fill positions with qualified leaders. The extra benefit is they will be more loyal to the hospital and less beholden to the physicians.

Click here to download the PDF booklet.

Travis Ansel

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Strategy