This article was written by Lisa Miller.
With a growing number of companies entering the sector, choosing your healthcare consulting provider requires careful evaluation. As hospitals struggle to establish a level of financial sustainability, that choice can be an overwhelming one.
As CEO and founder of VIE Healthcare Consulting, I recommend the following 10 steps:
#1 Industry knowledge and insight: Healthcare consulting providers who understand the sector continually monitor and measure the trends that affect their clients. When selecting a partner, ask questions such as:
- How do they demonstrate their credibility and insight?
- Is there clear evidence of thought leadership and a track record of achievements?
- What do their clients say about their insight and ability to deliver?
Thought leadership, in-depth research and a team equipped to respond to difficult questions all point towards the expertise your organization needs.
#2 Specialist areas: ‘Healthcare executives are now increasingly thinking that their organizational interests are best served by retaining niche firms’. For most hospitals that means working with a healthcare consulting company that displays a deep understanding in their chosen field. VIE Healthcare is the only healthcare consulting provider with a proven capability through our own in-house expertise to analyze your non-labor costs to dramatically improve your operating margins and economics of your organization.
#3 Sector experience: The most effective healthcare consulting providers work with their clients on a day-to-day basis to ensure success. VIE Healthcare’s Executive Team has collective expertise in numerous areas, including purchased services spend, margin improvement, frontline innovation, supply chain sourcing, vendor negotiation strategies, analysis of IT services and patient care. Our expertise has already saved healthcare systems throughout the US over $600 million.
#4 Response to technology: I cannot emphasize enough the need for hospitals to adopt and embrace new technology. IT demand in healthcare drove 81% of growth in 2019. With continued innovation in technology, however, overspending on IT systems is a potential risk. VIE Healthcare offers the industry’s only benchmarking data and contract visibility specifically for IT pricing and terms for hospitals.
#5 Understanding of analytics: The influence of big data and analytics is transforming healthcare. Without proper data analytics, your organization can’t translate its data into actionable insights, which risks bad decisions around your financial strategy. At VIE Healthcare, we work on the principle that ‘what is measured can be improved’. Bad or misinterpreted data is worse than no data at all. Your chosen healthcare consulting provider should specialize in data analytics for healthcare in order to maximize your potential non-labor cost savings.
#6 Examples of innovation: Innovation in healthcare is essential for hospitals to deliver quality patient care. Choose a healthcare consulting firm with a clear commitment to innovation that delivers major cost savings to your organization. VIE Healthcare stands at the forefront of hospital expense reduction and is a pioneer in the field of purchased services spend reduction with our automated, patented Invoice ROI™ technology.
#7 Staff turnover: One of the most important assets in healthcare consulting is the team who work on the frontline with your hospital. Continuity, expertise, transparency and trust is key to building relationships with healthcare leaders.Continuity, expertise, transparency & trust is key to building relationships with healthcare leaders. Click To Tweet
If a healthcare consulting company cannot hold on to its staff that is not possible. I recommend choosing a healthcare consulting company with a strong record of employee retention.
#8 Thought leadership: Healthcare consulting providers must be capable of providing solutions drawn from their expertise coupled with a background of recent and relevant client experiences. Look for examples of thought leadership in research reports and case studies and review all of their available online resources and blog for evidence of expertise in your specific area.
#9 Client retention: Winning clients is one thing, especially for healthcare consulting firms who have skilled sales professionals representing them. Retaining those clients is another. Successful consultants prioritize client relationship management and satisfaction and retain those clients over a number of years. When selecting a healthcare consulting provider, ask for evidence of satisfied clients.
#10 Character and integrity of the leadership: The leadership sets the tone and culture for the entire healthcare consulting firm. Effective leaders are highly regarded for their integrity and work ethic. They are not afraid to challenge established views, innovate and push the boundaries. They also listen to the needs and concerns of their clients. Key characteristics of successful healthcare consulting leaders include evidence of their strength and commitment to their industry, an established team – and transparency in everything they do. As founder and CEO of VIE Healthcare since 1999, my focus is on delivering immediate, guaranteed margin improvement and sustainable cost savings to our clients in the face of multiple and increasing financial and operational pressures.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of due diligence in choosing your healthcare consulting provider. They absolutely must have a proven track record of delivering solutions for many years.
Furthermore, they must be able to demonstrate their commitment to keeping to the standards of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). How they protect your data is critical.
Please reach out to me directly to discuss the ways in which VIE Healthcare can empower and support your organization in the vital areas of margin improvement, transforming the patient experience and delivering high-quality healthcare.
You can reach me at [email protected], or call 888-484-3332 ext 501.