Although the hospital only has 20 beds, it is able to maintain a 28 percent operating margin, among many other positive financials on its balance sheet. Dr. Rothbart said the hospital has so much success, both clinically and financially, because of the positive communication on these six best practices.
1. Find the right partners. Dr. Rothbart says the hospital administration, physician owners and staff all work cohesively as a unit. The administration and surgeons in particular have worked together to break down the historical barrier that normally divides them. “Hospitals and physicians traditionally have no trust for one another,” Dr. Rothbart said. “You have to have a hospital partner who will allow physician input.”
2. Gain access to managed care contracting. One of the biggest advantages for orthopedic and spine hospitals that are involved in large joint ventures is the access to larger, commercial contracts. Dr. Rothbart said those are the profitable contracts that help specialty hospitals stay solvent, and having a health system partner use its leverage and do the bidding is a relief taken off the shoulders of physicians.
3. Develop leadership. Harris Methodist Hospital Southlake has little turnover and builds from within, and Dr. Rothbart credited how they develop leaders. They hold quarterly leadership seminars, require managers to read three leadership books per year and provide opportunities for new leadership positions and promotions.
4. Create a positive culture for both patients and staff. Patients are the obvious core of any hospital, but the hospital needs a stronger base than other focusing on patients. Harris Methodist Hospital Southlake has some of the highest employee satisfaction and employee engagement ratings in the country through Press Ganey, and Dr. Rothbart said that is key to keep the highly specialized spine and orthopedic staff happy. “Customers are patients, but so are physicians, staff and managers,” he said.
5. Focus on quality and safety. Specialty and surgical hospitals typically have high nurse-to-patient ratios, low infection rates and an overall high emphasis on quality. Dr. Rothbart said it is no different for his hospital, and other orthopedic and spine hospitals must focus on these ever-growing factors.
6. Have a strategic growth plan. A strategic planning meeting should not be a cheerleading session. Instead, it should be a focused, well-planned agenda, and input must be received from all staff and employees, Dr. Rothbart said.
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