Hospitals are notoriously siloed and complex. In larger hospitals, the management structure and cultures of two departments on the same floor can be very different. They may even exhibit variances in how they deliver patient care. At a department level, few are aware of how their actions impact other departments in the ecosystem. Leadership relies on cross-departmental committees to sort out these inefficiencies and improve productivity.
It is estimated that 60%-70% of a hospital’s operating cost is attributed to labor. In a tight labor market and chronic shortages of clinicians, hospitals are highly motivated to improve staff efficiency and patient throughput.
Any innovation that obviously enhances productivity is likely to get airtime. A highly effective marketing tool is to illustrate the positive impact your innovation will have on the patient journey.
Your goal should be to fully understand the current state, and factor in the role of all administrative and clinical departments. At the most granular level that you can, diagram how a patient currently flows through the ecosystem. Emphasize those steps in the patient journey that rely on human intervention, where delays are common, where patient safety risks exist, or where the patient experience is compromised.
You should then diagram how your innovation reduces these complexities.
I’ve seen this visual used in sales pitches and it generates a lot of head nodding: a reaction that excites most sales representatives.
The good news is that deciphering this is not difficult. We recommend telephone in-depth interviews. After about 15 interviews with various stakeholders, you’ll paint a vivid picture of the current state and the positive impact your innovation will make. Information can be easily captured in an infographic and incorporated into sales pitches.
And, here’s the irony in all of this. Hospital leadership knows they are managing an unwieldy beast, but they often underestimate the complexity of many processes. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words.