FacilityCare Magazine

March/April 2012

Issue link: http://digital.turn-page.com/i/62499

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Page 8 of 35

CONTINUING EDUCATION Stand Up and Be Recognized Here's to the measurable success of the FM and healthcare reform By Todd Wilkening your facility, you should be concerned. A min- imal expectation of today's healthcare is to show fiscal responsibility, cost-effectiveness and quality at all levels in preparation for what is to come. Each of these elements must be demonstrated in a measurable way, using the business terms that your audience will under- stand. The HealthLeaders Media Intelligence Unit released the results of the 2011 Reform Readiness Survey in a December 2011 report. Some of my takeaways: 1. Healthcare revenues will likely fall. 2. The motivation for private insurers to support maximum reimbursement is already diminishing. I 3. Seventy-two percent of respondents anticipate an increase of the utilization of health services. 4. Sixty-nine percent of respondents believe a reorganization of departments and services will occur. 5. Fifty-five percent of respondents believe there will be a reduction in staff. A key message for the facility manager (FM) is to understand that revenues will be down and the importance for expense reduc- tion will be at an all-time high, not to men- tion the pressure to increase quality and improve the patient experience. With the impacts of expense reduction and sustain- ability converging, the FM is in a position to be highly influential in impacting business improvement and getting the needs of the facilities department met like never before. Optimal goal: providing financial strength and maximum profitability for your organiza- tion. Savvy FMs will be prepared to capture MARCH/APRIL 2012 Reform and Today's Healthcare f you have not heard the terms Healthcare Reform Act (HRA), Accountable Care Organization (ACO), and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) as the buzzwords in the moment. By being prepared, the FM can speak to the needs of the C-suite in support of the business while vocalizing less about the needs of the facilities department in terms of cost per square foot. Demonstrating cumu- lative cash flow, return on investment, cost per discharge and the like is a must. Preparing to Be Measured and Judged Today's FMs need to demonstrate their value to the business's bottom line like never before. Eat, or be prepared to be eaten. The C-suite is far too busy to learn and relate to the FM's language of cost and usage per square foot. Senior executives are hungry for executive dashboards that mandate auto reporting of performance right to their in- boxes. Data systems are making real-time reporting of performance easy and instanta- neous. Senior executives now mandate this, as it allows them to worry less about the importance of facility management until needed, while assisting them in creating opportunities to focus on the business as a whole. In this day and age, the FM needs to give them just that. Benchmarking Importance Let's face it: If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it. The FM needs to under- stand how they compare to constant improve- ment against one's self internally to its own organization. It is then assured that you are demonstrating improving your worth. Better yet, provide measurements against industry norms. While self-improvement is grand, comparing to other organizations as to "what and whom" brings additional questions. The "status quo" or "We have always done it this way" is dead. Self-evident competency is the minimal expectation. Do not wait for the boss to ask. By then, it is far too late. This means the FM needs to proactively speak up about the positive activities they are doing. Remember, "out of sight, out of mind." While it appears to me most FMs are humble, if our business is not on the tip of the tongue of oth- ers, we can be forgotten. This brings me back to a quote from Allen Bernard, man- aging editor of CIOupdate.com. "Without a concerted effort to show the business, in terms it understands – productivity gains, top-line growth, bottom-line cost savings, mobile employment empowerment, customer retention, etc. – what your department is doing to further the business's goals, the chances of having any say down the road about the future of your department begin to slim." Do not let this happen. Beneficial to the Business, C-Suite and FM The C-suite cannot be expected to under- stand usage or cost per square foot as a day- to-day mentality. Nor should they be expect- ed to. As the audience, the C-suite needs to be provided with useful information that is easy to embrace. This allows for readily use- ful tools they are more likely to support and can implement right away. The outcome is that the needs of facility management will now get met because of the importance of business in mind. Not only is this the gas in the engine, this is the bottom line. While patients are our priority, being fiscally mind- ed is the vehicle to improved lower operating costs and improved quality. Micro-Costing Healthcare is perhaps one of the few indus- tries that does not appear to understand its costs – at least at a micro level. We have all heard about the patient inquiring about the $12 aspirin. The public wants to know and rightfully so. Imagine if the patient care provider understood the cost of utilities or facilitycare.com FACILITYCARE | 9 FACILITY MANAGEMENT

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