How Good is Good Enough? Making the grade in today’s competitive environment
By Ken Schaeffer
If you’ve got children, at one point or another you’ve probably said some variation of the following phrase: “It doesn’t matter how well you do, as long as you did your best.”
In general, that’s excellent advice for kids, especially when we are encouraging them to achieve in an area outside of their natural gifting. As a business maxim, though, it pretty much stinks.
Seriously, think about it: Do you want to do business with a company that grades itself on effort or on results? I hope the answer is obvious. We are a results-oriented culture. In business, how well you do is much more important than how hard you try.
Nowhere is this more obvious than in today’s cutthroat healthcare environment. Shrinking reimbursements, undefined quality measures, increased regulation, and stiff competition between inpatient and outpatient settings are just some of the reasons results separate winners from losers. Imaging centers or hospitals that don’t measure up don’t earn repeat business, they go out of business!
I recently spent the weekend in three different pediatric ERs trying to get help for my 14-month-old son. Staff in each hospital approached the problem in the same way – the same tests were ordered, interpreted, and reviewed with us at every facility. However, one hospital was a clear standout: not only did staff figure definitively diagnose the problem, they took the time to listen, explain, and reassure. We were seen by a physician within minutes of walking through the door and never felt that our time was being wasted.
The first two hospitals didn’t do anything wrong, but they didn’t do everything right. In a highly competitive healthcare market, they did not go the extra mile to amaze me. The hospital that went above and beyond has earned our business for life. In the future, I will have a first and only choice for any medical emergency.
The point? “Good enough” is not good enough! To survive in healthcare today, providers and hospitals need to be awesome. Every patient interaction, every diagnostic image, and every report are being evaluated by customers (and payors!) who have choices about where their healthcare dollars are spent.
If you want to stay in the healthcare business – or any business – doing enough to squeak by won’t cut it in the long run. You must seek new ways to move to the top of the class.
Have a good story about a healthcare company making the grade… or not? Email me at this contact page
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