Mergers of hospitals
Budget restraints have made economies of scale a necessary strategic choice in the healthcare sector. Mergers provide an expansion in scale that enables good medical care at acceptable cost. Mergers also provide a more extensive range of medical solutions.
However, mergers can be very challenging for the involved organizations and often and in failure and disappointment. There are various reasons to which mergers fail e.g.:
- poor preparation
- insufficient phasing
- insufficient guidance and direction
- insufficient joint vision development
- cultural clashes
- time constraints
- insufficient implementation power
- lack of managerial perseverance and involvement
The management of the concerned hospitals or organizations think and act from the point of view of their own organizational culture and interests. Therefore it is of crucial importance to engage an independent, external partner that is capable of leading such a merger and that can act as a trusted arbitrator.
Our competence and experience in this field have resulted in a process-oriented approach that is the starting point of each merger transition process.
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Government and umbrella organizations such as ICURO have stressed the importance of the following actions or attitudes to facilitate successful mergers:
- Drawing up and updating a strategic plan (10 years scope).
- Drawing up a policy every year with operational and financial objectives (follow-up parameters).
- Challenge: renewed design of care processes, effective use of information technology, managing clinical knowledge and skills, coordinating the care across patient conditions and various departments as well as implementing performance and result measurements for improvement and liability (accountability).
- Hospitals have to justify themselves when it comes to size, quality and costs of the delivered service. Obligations regarding the annual report with explicit incorporation of process and result indicators.
- Dynamism and entrepreneurship within the management.
- Creation of specific committees: Quality & Security (Q&S), audit and HR.
Importance for Business-IT harmonisation
- The need to bundle and exchange systems and information of various health care providers will greatly increase. Increase of umbrella information projects throughout the care institutions. Potentially necessary to set up exchange protocols.
- The importance of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) will greatly increase.
- Focus on quality, process efficiency and effectiveness will greatly increase. This can be carried onto the IT department. To what extent the quality approach will have to percolate through IT, is not yet entirely clear.
- Focus on financial aspects and sensible deployment of resources is increasing. Financial management, resource management and portfolio management for IT.
- Strategic and tactical plans have to be drawn up. IT makes up a very important part of this whole. This means that tactical and strategic IT-plans will have to be drawn up, integrated into the hospital strategy and even into the sectoral strategy.
- The use of process- and result indicators (BSC, process operation) to follow-up strategy and tactics will increase in the future. It seems appropriate to include herein an IT-“scoreboard” as well.
- Informational provisions, necessary for the support of administration for and management of the (still to be implemented) quality- and security system.
- Integration of IT in the health care processes will continue to increase, but not in a transformational way.
Based on the COBIT Enterprise Governance model, Xedis can assess and measure the governance maturity level of organizations. The below mentioned domains are hereby taken into consideration.
- Strategic alignement
- Value Management
- Risk Management
- Resource Management
- Performance Management
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