When we talk about access and intake operations, we know that their improvement can feel like one monolithic, behemoth, impossible project. But great news! It’s not. Though the entire engagement accomplishes a lot and encompasses large parts of the organization, the work itself breaks down into easy-to-manage, guided projects. Without exception, we always do the same thing first, that one task that guides all the rest. We create an effective governance strategy for all future access and intake operations.
We repeat: nothing can happen without the proper governance in place. Governance means creating a system at your organization that dictates how to make decisions.
An effective governance strategy starts by first forming a committee with leadership from across the enterprise. The diverse leadership will ensure that the entire organization is viewed holistically when making decisions and that the committee considers and examines all potential effects of a choice. Physicians and health system executives do not always see eye to eye, but a governance committee creates the space for discussion before any changes occur.
Of course, when the governance committee does decide to make changes, having the support of leadership across the board will pay dividends when increasing buy-in and endorsing and enforcing those changes. Hospital and physician leadership can cosponsor projects, demonstrating that the entire organization—physicians, patients, and community members included—will benefit.
What choices and decisions does the governance committee make? They start with broad discussions about improving patient retention, satisfaction, and experience, engaging patients and physicians more, supporting care coordination with the consumer in mind, and then they begin to focus. They set goals for the organization, then examine metrics and measurements that could indicate if the organization has accomplished what it set out to do. By setting the access and intake operations goals, general standards, and key performance indicators, the governance committee paves the road for operational improvements that all the other future projects will follow.
Share this story