Wisconsin Health System Integration
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A non-profit, community-directed Wisconsin health system included eight hospitals, outpatient clinics, post-acute care and high-quality affiliated physicians. Although one system, the entities mainly operated independently with limited interactions and cooperation between the facilities. The system recognized the need to offer high quality, well-coordinated and cost effective care to patients through improved system integration.
The system and Prism and embarked on a strategic imperative to achieve “systemness” and create synergies across the organization, improve patient experience and increase operational efficiencies. Core initiatives included:
- Developing a culture of ‘systemness’ by rede-fining corporate and operating roles, sharing authority and responsibility, and creating open channels of communication
- Defining and demarcating clinical and adminis-trative functions and roles to allow management to focus on the patient clinical experience and build a world-class back office function for support and shared services
- Rationalizing and streamlining corporate and clinical teams through standardization, con-solidation, and centralization of practices, services, and support functions
- Structuring initiative teams with subject matter experts to build alliances across different system entities.
- Leading with the best by adopting a ‘hub and spoke’ organizational architecture where staff moving to a corporate role are able to remain at their local site.
- Establishing guiding principles on path, process, time lines and criteria for success, including:
- First standardization, then centralization
- Reduction of workforce through attrition, reduction of overtime and elimination of sub-contractors, in lieu of layoffs and relocations
- Reducing resistance and obtaining support through tactics such as change readiness plans and proactive communication strategies.
The system integration initiative delivered over $20 million in annual financial benefit.