Acute Agility: Why Executives Should Integrate Service Co-location Into Their Strategic Plans
As the number of patients with medical complications continues to increase, acute agility is a key strategy to help meet the growing needs of patients in a rapidly changing healthcare landscape.
Hospital leaders should consider consolidating a variety of services on their hospital campuses beyond short-term acute care, including rehabilitation, long-term acute care, and behavioral health.
In this Q&A, listen to Benjamin A. Breier, CEO of Kindred Healthcare, who provides insight into market expansion strategies that can help hospitals meet the changing needs of their communities.
How does healthcare consumerism play into the need to co-locate more services on a single hospital campus?
Breier: More than ever, patient expectations are extremely high. They understand the difference between care settings and want to know that they or their loved one is receiving the best possible care.
Collocating and delivering specialist care across your system’s continuum of care helps meet these expectations by reducing care transitions, keeping patients in your healthcare system, and providing them with the appropriate specialist care they need. need to achieve full recovery. All of this increases patient satisfaction, preference and loyalty – ultimately leading to better outcomes.
How does the co-location of specialized services benefit the overall performance of the hospital?
Breier: When patients leave the hospital and are placed in the care of other organizations, the hospital loses control of their care and ultimately has little influence over patient readmission, a key metric by which providers are judged, in particularly in the context of the new reimbursement based on the value of the models. Healthcare systems that co-locate more of the continuum on their campus have a better chance of avoiding these negative outcomes while capturing post-acute income.
Finances aren’t and shouldn’t be the driving force behind how we care for patients, but our ability to be reimbursed and manage costs is, in many ways, paramount. If you have coordinated and specialized care that creates better outcomes and better financial outcomes, it’s a victory in either paradigm. However, as managed care and other value-based reimbursements become a larger part of the equation, it will be even more important to provide care that makes the most of the limited funds available to us.
How does the co-location model benefit hospital staffing issues?
Breier: One of the biggest challenges for providers is healthcare staffing. By providing high-quality post-acute services on a campus, health systems have better access to resources and specialist expertise, including hospital-level infection control and physician oversight.
In addition, having all the necessary resources in one environment can ease potential stress on staff. Co-location of training, education and programming on one campus can generate and create a unified interdisciplinary team approach, leading to better employee retention and satisfaction.
What advice would you give to hospital managers who may not have the physical space to consolidate more services on one campus?
Breier: Even if you think you don’t have the space available now, co-renting could still be an option. By reassessing your current system offerings, you may be able to identify opportunities to adjust services or optimize programs to better meet patient needs.
It is also possible to invest in a new building to specifically house several services. For all the reasons we have talked about, there is greater efficiency and cost savings. To achieve this, many health systems are leveraging strategic partnerships to help support targeted expertise – opening the door to greater bed capacity, the ability to share clinical staff, and more educational opportunities. and training combined.
With a history of joint ventures and successful management arrangements, Kindred partners with healthcare systems to develop co-location and specialist service strategies that meet the specific needs and opportunities of patients in local communities.
To learn more about how Kindred can help your healthcare system, visit kindredrehab.com
Kindred Hospital Rehabilitation Services works with over 300 hospital programs nationwide to deliver the best possible clinical and operational outcomes.