Orion has had the privilege of working with hospitals and healthcare providers since our earliest days. We cut our teeth during the advent of CQI in the early 1990’s and stayed true to our goals of helping hospitals both improve care and realize better business outcomes…which in turn enables better patient care.  Even as consulting companies got caught up in fads (e.g. Six Sigma, Lean), Orion has kept its eye on the big picture.  Our clients are able to:

  • Improve their bottom line, primarily through increasing revenue as opposed to slashing services
  • Create win-win relationships with physicians
  • Utilize a variety of process improvement methodologies (including Lean) to redesign and streamline operations
  • Maximize the number of patients served, especially in areas where overhead is high and scheduling is challenging (e.g. Radiology, Outpatient Clinics, the OR)
  • Utilize data analytics to sift through the sea of operational data and unlock the keys to performance improvement and change

Treating the Business of Healthcare

Health care organizations have faced multiple sea changes over the last few years: ACA, EHR, ACOs, etc. Meanwhile, patient expectations continue to rise, technology continues to explode forward and the pressure to do more with less has never been greater. Addressing these tough business challenges is an unavoidable reality for healthcare leaders.

To help your hospital or practice meet these challenges, Orion Development Group has created the Treating the Business of Healthcare series. Each module is 1-3 days in length but can be customized to meet the specific needs of your organization.

Lean Healthcare

Transforming Processes to Maximize Patient Value

Mapping Strategy in Healthcare Organizations

How to Align Disparate Initiatives Toward the Common Goal

Data Analytics for Healthcare Leaders

Integrating Statistics and Experience to Drive Your Healthcare Business Decisions

Transforming the Patient Experience

How to Improve Relationships and Patient Satisfaction

Creating Networks of Care

Integrating Operations to Efficiently Serve Your Population’s Needs

Process Optimization in Healthcare

Beyond Lean: Reducing Costs and Increasing Revenue via RPI®

Executing Change in Healthcare

Setting the Stage for Large Scale Changes in Operations and Culture

These skills can also be delivered as a consulting engagement applied to real projects. For more information, email Margaret Powers or call her at (800) 510-2117.

Practice Leader – Ralph Smith

Ralph Smith is Vice President, Healthcare and Strategic Services for Orion Development Group.  He has personally supervised the performance improvement efforts in more than 100 organizations worldwide, including hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations.

Over the past 20 years, Mr. Smith has helped hospitals increase efficiency and quality of care by adapting and applying contemporary process improvement techniques.  For example, in the 1990’s Ralph taught Continuous Quality Improvement techniques to a team of internal facilitators at Evangelical Community Hospital in Pennsylvania.  In the early 2000’s, he helped the quality improvement teams at Texas Children’s Hospital achieve dramatic gains in efficiency.  Currently, Mr. Smith is leveraging Lean Management techniques to enable both Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to increase revenue via better utilization of resources.  Other healthcare and healthcare-related clients Ralph has served include the Cobb County Board of Health, Memorial Blood Center of Minnesota, BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois, Fairfax County Health Department and the VA Medical Center.

Mr. Smith is intimately familiar with strategic planning.  He is a recognized expert in this discipline and author of the highly rated text Business Process Management and the Balanced Scorecard. Ralph is uniquely qualified to help hospitals align process improvement efforts with the organization’s long-term strategy.

Mr. Smith is also a respected professional development instructor.  He has taught hundreds of professional development seminars for universities across the United States. He teaches healthcare process improvement for the University of Colorado College of Nursing, Michigan State University and the University of Delaware.  His ability to transfer skills and knowledge to healthcare staff is a critical asset.  Orion’s clients achieve self-sufficiency because Ralph and his team “teach your staff to fish.”

Mr. Smith has a Masters degree in Operations Research from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Bachelors degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Georgia.

Below are two simple examples of how you can deliver real-world results by integrating statistics from a business intelligence system with simple process improvement tools and the knowledge/experience of your staff.

Success Story #1: MRI Wait Time and Capacity

The MRI unit at a major Children’s hospital found themselves in a situation where the numbers just didn’t add up. The main OR had three MRI machines that were running at an average monthly capacity of 58%, and yet there was a six week backlog to get scheduled for an image. There were many talented people in each of the relevant functions but a flawed process was leading to poor machine utilization and delays in patient care. Using simple Lean and Data Analytics techniques a project team generated a range of common sense solutions that impacted patient flow, scheduling, and cross functional communication. The double digit increase in capacity resulted in an annual gain of more than $2 million. The six-week patient backlog was slashed to one week. First case on-time start % has doubled.

Success Story #2: OR Block Utilization

In 2012, operating room block utilization in a local hospital had bottomed out at 54%, and there was confusion between the hospital and physicians over block allocation. A manual data entry and evaluation system hampered the ability to track performance and make good management decisions. Leveraging a collaborative hospital-physician partnership and newly acquired data analytics capability, a hospital team was able to remove more over 400 hours per month of non-productive block time from the schedule and evaluate adding more than $7 million in new surgeons/specialties to fill the newly-creates space. Given the expense of running an OR, both the cost savings and revenue enhancement opportunities are dramatic.

Orion’s role in these projects typically includes a combination of training, coaching and analysis.  Our job is to help your team become self-sufficient.

Let Orion help you overcome today’s healthcare business challenges.
Call Margaret Powers today at (800) 510-2117.