How much could a bad decision cost you?

Three considerations for health system and hospital leaders

Decision-making is one of the most important responsibilities of a leader. However, a recent survey reported that more than 70 percent of executives believe that bad decisions are as common as good decisions in their organization.1 These poor decisions can have a significant impact on a company, but for leaders of health organizations, the stakes are unmistakably high.

Your organization needs to position itself for long-term financial success and fulfill its mission to the community through quality clinical care. The organization needs you to come up with the right questions, as well as the right answers, to improve operational processes. The board is going to review the data on your organization’s performance to determine your effectiveness as a leader.

But what will a bad decision cost?

  1. Reputation. Nine out of 10 people indicate that reputation is important when selecting a hospital.2 In today’s modern online world, a single patient review posted on the internet can harm your reputation. The patient experience drives reputation and delivering a positive patient experience is key for attracting new patients-and essential for retaining current ones. Positive patient experiences are related to better health outcomes which can result in lower readmission rates. And why is this important? Because value based purchasing has tied Medicare reimbursement to HCAHPS scores. It’s an ongoing chain of events. Hospitals are rated highly by their patients. Reputation drives utilization. Utilization drives future utilization.2 A bad decision could change that.
  2. Perception. As it relates to reputation and patient care, poor decisions can negatively impact the health and mortality of those you serve. Studies show that when a hospital has a higher reputation, patients and their relatives feel the hospital offers a safer clinical environment. Patient safety and clinical quality scores are easily available to the public, making it necessary for hospitals to take more action to protect not only their reputation, but their patients. Major factors, including confidence in providers, clinical results and, of course, reputation, contribute to the public’s perception of the safety and clinical quality of your hospital.3
  3. Performance. While the mission of your hospital or health system likely relates to patient care, you must manage the financial health of your organization to deliver quality services to the community. As the industry has shifted, this means you need maintain the organization’s balance sheet, but make strategic investments now to improve revenue capture in the future – such as finding ways to improve reimbursement rates and offering new services to attract and keep the discerning healthcare consumer. A poor decision can certainly impact your organization’s ability to improve performance.

Good decisions can propel a health organization forward, bringing new opportunities to support the community and clinicians. Yet, healthcare is full of unanticipated events, and plans can sometimes be affected by unexpected organizational shifts.

So, how can you make sure your decision is the right one? Unfortunately, there is no magic eight ball that will let you see into the future but there are ways to improve decision-making with right resources and insights.

Learn more about leading system-wide performance improvement

  1. https://www.smartsheet.com/blog/3-reasons-business-leaders-make-bad-decisions
  2. https://nrchealth.com/impact-improved-patient-experiences/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5586829/