In today’s highly competitive health care market with cardiovascular services comprising as much as 40% of acute care revenues, it makes sense to take a critical look at that service line to see where it stands and where it is going.
All acute care hospitals provide some level of cardiac services, ranging from non-invasive diagnostics to full invasive and surgical cardiac care. Yet very few program administrators take the time to thoroughly assess how their programs stack up.
Successful cardiovascular programs demand ongoing attention to the effectiveness of all the factors that influence results. These include organizational structure, data systems and information management, quality assessment and performance improvement, operational efficiencies, personnel utilization and management, finance (cost and revenue), and program marketing.
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The CV services administrator must appreciate and understand where the business comes from and where it goes. Other issues are equally important. What does it cost to run the business and who can run it? What will it take to grow the business and in what direction should it grow?
The best way to address these questions is to periodically perform an internal program self-assessment.
Begin with a review of the organizational structure for all services related to the provision of cardiovascular care. In a service line model this is easy, as all cardiovascular service areas report either directly or indirectly to a CV administrator or director.
This allows for information regarding each individual service to be reviewed not only in the context of the individual service, but also within the scope of the overall cardiovascular program. Surprisingly, very few hospitals take a true service line approach, in which all information related to the service line flows to a central point for review and decisions.