A framework for Healthcare Finance 2.0 already exists.
Similar to leading edge retailers, hospital systems participating in the Healthier Hospital Initiative are working to make their organizations healthier and more environmentally friendly.
I discovered the initiative while researching organizational values of leading healthcare organizations and noticed the reference on the old values page for Tenet Health. Unfortunately, the page is no longer available.
Tenet’s new values are reflected by the acronym CARE which may make them easier for people to remember. However, what truly makes values memorable is whether they are reinforced every day by the way people work and conduct themselves on the job and in the community.
I started my healthcare career with Tenet Health and the values reflected now are fairly consistent with how the company operated back then with one important exception.
Innovation is no longer on the values list and there is no reference to the Healthier Hospital Initiative in the description. For me and likely many Tenet employees, that change is a big deal.
With the number of innovation titles used now within the healthcare industry, you might think innovation has become more of a platitude than a meaningful organizational value. However, the Tenet that I knew was a leader in information technology. It’s how the company was able to develop Broadlane and Conifer and to provide services to other healthcare systems.
Now it’s something that I have to question because there has also been a change in management. Do they have the internal courage to make the early investments in technology or not?
Healthier Hospital Initiative
The Healthier Hospital Initiative is what hospital systems need to challenge current financial models. When I posed related questions in my Healthcare Finance 2.0 post, some industry leaders dismissed the idea as something hospital providers couldn’t afford to do.
The reaction is to be expected during the innovation process. However, it’s also why we need leading edge organizations that can make those early investments to show other systems that it’s possible and to support others in the transition to greener, healthier organizations.
Risk Is Rewarded
Companies that take risks attract the people with the courage and drive needed to lead meaningful change. The value structure needs to support the courageous few for the organization to realize the benefits of innovation.
According to the book the Trillion Dollar Coach, good cultures need a healthy blend of ethics, values and trust.
Tenet should have focused on trust because the company already has a strong framework for ethics and values. Plus trust is essential for moving healthcare organizations forward into value based care arrangements, retaining good employees and maximizing profits.
I’m reading a new book on developing the organizational courage needed to facilitate innovation and change. I’ll have more thoughts on that for you next week.