How to Turn Distressed hospital into Success

It is important for a community to have ample access to health care and emergency services when needed. A hospital is not just another business in the community; but for many people, it is a lifeline. Closed hospitals can mean loss of jobs, long transports for critical patients, extended wait times at other facilities, and even loss of life.

That is why the decision to close a hospital is not one that should be taken lightly, and should only be done as an absolute last resort. There is a multitude of areas within your organization that you can re-evaluate to make sure that you are operating at the most efficient level possible. Below identifies ideas on how to turn around a distressed hospital:

  • Health Insurance:This is a very important issue for many patients. If your facility does not accept a patient’s health insurance, then simply put, that patient will not use your facility. Evaluate your partnerships with health insurance providers and consider expanding your relationships to include more empanelment carriers.


  • Customer Service: It is important to remember that when your customers do not utilize your services, it is because they are dealing with a negative situation. More so than anywhere else, customer service is important in the hospital setting. Your patients are hurting, scared, and look to the members of your establishment for comfort and understanding. Strong policies should be in place and customer service training should be implemented on a regular basis for all employees to ensure that your patients have the most caring and comfortable experience possible. This will serve to gain confidence in your brand, creating lifelong relationships with your community members. Give complete one stop solution to patients right from picking them in your ambulance for treatment to surgeries, discharge and sending them back home to home health services for patient care. Offer them choice of variable pricing on days and timings of the surgery which other hospitals are not providing. Be different.


  • Utilize surveys: Surveys are an efficient and effective resource for getting to the root of many issues within your organization. It costs nothing to send an email to your patients requesting feedback on their experiences with your facility. Your surveys should be as comprehensive as possible and include questions regarding customer service, insurance, quality of care, availability of resources, and financial concerns. Often, these surveys can help to pinpoint problematic areas within your organization to allow you the opportunity to make necessary changes or improvements.


  • Evaluate waste and spending: While cutting corners in your care policies is definitely not an advisable way to decrease spending, there are several other areas that you can re-evaluate to ensure cost-effectiveness. Some of these areas may include toiletries, linens, administrative supplies, cleaning products, utility providers (such as telephone and internet service), and insurance policies. Within large organizations, literally millions can be saved by “shopping” these products and services to ensure you are getting the best possible value.


  • Close down those dep’t which have poor inflow of patients or outsource them and starts new departments, services which is very much needed by patients of that area rather than pushing products which you have.

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How to turn around a Distress Hospital: 5 Strategies for Success

Often when a hospital is on the decline many boards will automatically accept that the hospital is failing, cut their losses and move on.  When assessing the situation parties should try not to just solve the short term issue, but strive to continue to stabilize the situation and lay down roots for future growth by building a long term roadmap which & tap unexplored areas which were never thought before.

So, if you are one of the many who are a governing body of a hospital and want to know how to turn around a distress hospital, here are four strategies to help you on your quest.

The first step for any crisis is to bring in a professional CEO who takes the lead in the turnaround process rather than you as a hospital owner trying to manage yourself the day to day operations.  If your hospital doesn’t currently have a CEO this should be where you start the selection process.  The CEO should always be in communication with staff, the board, trustees, and community of the hospital.  In this process communication is key and helps keep everyone focused on the recovery of the hospital.  The CEO should know where the hospital has failed and uncover ways to turn those failures into success with timetables and plans for growth. He is the one who will build a team of professional HOD’s to manage the hospital well.

Second is to develop new product lines of revenue by doing a market research on patient demographics in the region to find out which services they want at what price points so that you can offer them what patients need. Develop the product lines which are service oriented, transparent with no hidden cost and shock when a patient receives the final bill on discharge.

Third is to outsource certain dep’t to those who are professional and better than the way we manage that service. This way, those companies will run those services awesome, make profits and also we share a % of the profit. Hence, dep’t in losses will be run by outsource companies who are best in that e.g. do not try to run the pharmacy, canteen, lab, and dialysis etc. services all by yourself. Outsource them.

Fourth is to build a long term pipeline by building our image in the community/ society is to participate in the community ran activities, like tree plantation, cleanliness drive, and social cause. This will lead to getting support of local administration, government, and police and then in turn can send huge number of patients.

Also the last thing you want to do as a hospital is step on your competition’s toes.  Don’t launch services that undermine your competitors and their livelihood.  Doing this will only create enemies who will not make your turnaround efforts successful.  Instead work together with other hospitals and create good relationships, that way you can refer patients to them and vice versa.


No turnaround is ever easy and this process requires lots of open minds and good leadership besides team building.

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