Nowadays, many organizations pay vehement attention to the sufficient planning of their operations, as, otherwise, it will not be possible to mitigate risks and remain competitive in the market during the times of natural disasters and economic recessions. In the context of this case scenario, a group of physicians, who were eager to establish and open a single-specialty group practice, decided to hire me as a consultant to create a well-developed business plan. It will focus on describing an array of managerial practices and strategies that will be used to stay competitive in the market. Simultaneously, they want to reflect their critical values in the plan, and it should include medical excellence and preparedness for different emergencies and natural disasters.
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Consequently, the primary goal of this paper is to compare different levels of financial benchmarking and propose Health Information Technology (HIT) System. In turn, it will be important to evaluate potential risks related to various kinds of emergencies and describe dissimilar strategies to mitigate them. In the end, it is also critical to propose approaches to remain operational before, during, and after a natural disaster, as, otherwise, the company will not be able to return to its primary functions.
Comparison of Two Levels of Financial Benchmarking
In the first place, it is essential to compare different levels of benchmarking. This framework is of paramount importance since it assists the company in creating a dynamic competitive advantage both internally and externally (Attiany, 2014). Generally speaking, this approach helps discover the company’s strengths and weaknesses and define a strategy that can help it enhance its profitability and positioning among competitors (Attiany, 2014). In this context, a start-up should use a unique blend of benchmarking tactics that will imply controlling the company’s financials internally and externally.
In this case, internal financial benchmarking will imply organizing different projects and activities and comparing them with each other. It will assist in evaluating the cost-effectiveness of the projects and their financial viability, as it will provide information on whether it is rational to include them in the current strategy. On the contrary, external benchmarking will apply similar concepts and the same Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as ROA, ROI, EBITDA, and gross profit margin to assess the performance. Nonetheless, it will be compared with the actions of different rival firms.
Along with that, employing the principles of process and strategic benchmarking can provide information about the condition of the company from dissimilar angles (Attiany, 2014). Overall, based on the findings, the organization should use all forms of financial benchmarking, as they cannot only help evaluate the appropriateness and cost-effectiveness of particular procedures but also provide only high-quality and safe services to the patients.
Health Information Technology (HIT) System
Apart from the paramount importance of financial benchmarking, it is critical to introduce the HIT system that includes electronic health records (EHR) to implement the proposed business idea successfully. In this instance, I would recommend using MEDHOST or Meditech since these solutions tend to cover not only the financial performance of the company but also evaluate the quality of the provided services and maintain levels of safety with the help of EHR.
There are several reasons for selecting these systems for the company. For example, they comply with the identified mission statement and the organizational goals such as prioritizing performance excellence and maintaining the satisfaction of patients at high levels. Along with that, their ability to control operation flows ensures the efficient distribution of the medical personnel and helps design a well-balanced schedule to diminish cases of burnout, fatigue, and as a consequence, medical errors. This feature assists the company in evaluating an array of internal and external risks while giving priority to cost-effectiveness and performance excellence.
Lastly, it improves its levels of preparedness for natural disasters and other cataclysms, as the system ensures constant back-up and rapid restoration of EHR after the occurrence of an emergency. Overall, selecting either of the systems will be beneficial since it caters to the central needs of the company pertaining to high quality and cost-effectiveness and ensures the undisrupted flow of operations.
Potential Risks and Strategies to Mitigate Them
When starting a group practice, the management often faces challenges linked to property, financial practices, and technology (Wolper, 2013). In the context of the chosen organization, the specific hazards may be associated with managing finances and can be formulated as the lack of knowledge of managerial accounting that may result in the insufficient quality of the provided services and low financial liquidity due to a high level of uncertainty and unexpected fluctuations in the future market.
In the recent past, the operations of the hospitals in the USA were vehemently affected by the economic downturn, and this downward slope became the major concern for the management due to its negative impact on business continuity (Dong, 2015). In this instance, the primary solutions imply gaining more knowledge in this business sphere or hiring a professional, who will be responsible for finances. Nonetheless, the second option is not appropriate, as focusing on external sources solely may not guarantee financial liquidity and solvency and can result in fraud and bankruptcy.
In this case, the major solution is to discover a correlation between the quality of the provided services and different financial transactions and statements such as asset liquidity, debt level, and profitability (Dong, 2015). Apart from the constant analysis of these measures, it is vital to report systematically, as being reluctant will result in major financial losses and the inability to spot fluctuations in financial trends and comply with financial benchmarks (Dong, 2015). One of the bright examples of the hospitals in Paris Community Hospital/Family Medical Center, as it gave priority to these tactics when addressing its needs in maintaining its financial liquidity (Paris Family Medical Center, 2017). Overall, understanding and interdependence between quality and financial aspects and reporting them in a timely manner are the keys to success in this sphere.
Strategies to Remain Operational Before, During, and After a Natural Disaster
As it was mentioned earlier, a group of physicians is aware of possible negative effects of natural disasters and their ability to cause severe disruptions in operations. The main functions of the practice that will be maintained during all phases of emergency will include the continuous communication with the clients, maintenance of procedures, and tracking changes in the medical conditions of patients while it will be critical to ensure the safety and quality of the provided services simultaneously. Thus, to communicate with the employees and offer necessary procedures, it is essential to create a manual and use it as the core strategy to outline the main steps (Talati, Bhatia, Kumar, Gupta, & Ojha, 2014).
The manual will cover all phases of emergency planning and communication, and continuity of the business processes will be ensured with the help of electricity operating reserve. Patients will be evacuated if necessary and will be informed by making announcements. At the same time, the used HIT system will be restored within several minutes while recording can be done manually. As for financial data, it will be restored with the help of back-up and cloud storage while some values will be adjusted by financial professionals. Overall, creating a manual is rational, as it will provide a systematic overview of steps that have to be taken to ensure business continuity, minimize financial losses, and comply with the patient safety guidelines.
Attiany, M. (2014). Competitive advantage through benchmarking: A field study of industrial companies listed in Amman Stock Exchange. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 5(4), 41-51.
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Dong, G. (2015). Performing well in financial management and quality of care: Evidence from hospital process measures for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. BMC Health Services Research, 15(1), 45-60.
Paris Family Medical Center. (2017). Paris Family Medical Center. Web.
Talati, S., Bhatia, P., Kumar, A., Gupta, A., & Ojha, C. (2014). Strategic planning and designing of a hospital disaster manual in a tertiary care, teaching, research, and referral institute in India. World Journal of Emergency Management, 5(1), 35-41.
Wolper, L. (2013). Physician practice management. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.