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Top 5 Things to Consider when Infrastructure Planning at Healthcare Organizations

October 05, 2016


With over 80% of all capital decisions being made by Executives, since 2009, many healthcare organizations have downsized their middle management ranks, resulting in more scrutiny being placed on lower dollar capital decisions. It was incredibly unfortunate to hear from one CEO earlier this year who noted that he had only a $25K approval authority, and all higher investments needed to go to a committee. Executives really need to see the value of a proposal in a quick review due to the numerous requests for their time - committee structures, such as a Capital Allocation Committee, have become commonplace within all healthcare organizations. As is the case with population health, there's greater pressure to demonstrate flexibility and cost efficiency with the current facilities versus adding new facilities.  

Given this uncertain environment, facility leaders and solution providers should consider the following 5 tips when seeking approval of their projects:

  1. Align your solution to connect to business results.
  2. It’s important to rank your infrastructure priorities based on the Healthcare System’s core goals, and be prepared.
  3. Engage other departments, such as nursing and infection control, in your evaluation and recommendation.
  4. Meeting financial metrics is vital but also consider areas such as: regulatory, sustainability, safety/risk, and patient and staff satisfaction in your evaluation.
  5. Executives love infographics or pictures. Include these when developing the story of your request, wherever possible, and try to keep it to 1 or 2 pages.

Recently, a Corporate Director of Facilities at a Healthcare Organization noted that the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) asked that his capital request presentation to the Corporate Allocation Committee (CAC) look more like USA Today with a few slides telling the story versus tons of data and slides that could be confusing. In this situation, the Corporate Director took his bosses advice and was successful getting his request approved by the CAC, as well as 4 additional committees, as all committees ultimately understood how the project aligned to their business and could repeat to others key themes from the presentation.

As was noted in June 2016 Harvard Business Review article, “Visualizations that really work”, “Now visual communication is a must-have skill for all managers, because more and more often, it’s the only way to make sense of the work they do”.

It is vital to balance visualization and aligning with an organization’s strategic plan to develop the right Infrastructure Asset Plan, sometimes called the Strategic Facilities Plan.