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Initiative to enhance operational practices

Jun. 20, 2013, 10:11 AM

With a desire toward process improvement that will result in lasting change, and in response to ongoing financial pressures from declining reimbursements for the treatment of Medicare and Medicaid patients along with reductions to federal research funding due to the nation’s ballooning deficit, Vanderbilt University Medical Center is embarking on a comprehensive program designed to sharpen operational practices throughout the institution to better meet the economic realities facing the future of health care delivery and research.

The program, called Evolve to Excel (E2E), will provide a focused effort to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of VUMC’s administrative and operational support services for both the clinical enterprise and the School of Medicine.

“Already, thanks to the creativity and contributions of individuals from across the Medical Center, we have been able to realize operational savings of approximately $50 million. After careful analysis of financial models associated with our federal revenue streams, we know we need to capture another $50 million in operational savings during fiscal year 2014 to continue our mission as one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers,” said John Manning Jr., Ph.D., MBA, associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs, chief administrative officer for VUMC and senior associate dean for Operations and Administration.

“Evolve to Excel has been designed to achieve this operational goal while remaining reflective of our firm commitment to our culture. We want to ensure a strong future for VUMC. E2E is intended to be a comprehensive effort to help us bring successful transformation throughout the Medical Center in response to this rapidly changing landscape for health care delivery and academic research.”

Through E2E, VUMC’s leadership, with assistance from McKinsey & Co., are pursuing new programs for performance development — simultaneously laying the foundation for a best-in-class operational model that will develop future leaders while also implementing new processes to slow the rate of increase for institutional operating costs relative to growth.

“We felt it would be beneficial to engage an additional perspective as we go through an analysis setting the stage for our future,” Manning said. “McKinsey & Co. is here to help during the analysis phase; however, VUMC’s leadership will be making all decisions about operational change.”

Goals for E2E include: to ensure functions operate with total system effectiveness; streamline decision making while simplifying governance; develop processes that are designed based around customer service, and removing systematic barriers to processes and efficiencies while building the capabilities required to succeed in the new environment of health care delivery.

“We believe E2E will result in a stronger, more efficient and transparent organization with opportunities to create the optimal patient and family experience in the process. Other goals for E2E are to increase value-added, fulfilling work where individuals can increase ownership and showcase their talents. We will also be creating new processes where knowledge can flow across the institution, enabling better, more holistic care for our patients,” said David Posch, CEO of Vanderbilt University Hospital and Clinics and executive director of the Vanderbilt Medical Group.

As medical centers across the country are facing a new normal with lower clinical and research revenue streams, VUMC intends to lead the nation in how it manages its administrative and management support activities. E2E embodies this commitment to leadership in clinical care, research and education. Through this effort, VUMC will be renewing its commitment to supporting, developing and rewarding the Medical Center’s best employees, as well as streamlining and modernizing the administrative processes they manage.

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