The main mission of Trinity Community Hospital and all of the members that make up the entire organization is to be able to provide the highest possible quality of medical and health care services to its patients. The hospital aims to do this by employing some of the best management team and medical and health care team members in the field. The hospital believes that hiring the best people in the field is one of the surest ways how it can return the favor to its main partners, the patients. The hospital also invests heavily in key infrastructure improvements with an ultimate goal of creating a patient-friendly and pleasant internal environment that would truly set it apart from other medical and health care institutions. The objective of this paper is to assess the viability of developing a new hospital department. The proposed hospital department to be developed in this case would be an orthopedic center. The author of the paper basically assumes the role of the chief operating officer (CEO) in the hospital facility.
Evaluate the demand for the new service line (Orthopedic Center) in the market area defined in the case study
one of the most important things, if not the most important one, to consider when it comes to setting up a new business or simply creating a new line of business is to determine whether there is going to be a strong demand for the type of product or service that will come as a result of creating that new business or line of business. What makes this process so important is the fact that if there is no market, there is profitability because there would basically be no people who would be willing to pay for money in exchange for the business’ products and or services. The new line of business being proposed to be created in this case is an orthopedic center for Trinity Community Hospital. The orthopedic field is still under the umbrella of the health care industry. Health care industry, at least in the United States, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) accounts for some twenty percent of the entire country’s gross domestic product, which is by far the biggest in the world, which is what makes it (i.e. refers to the GDP) the largest economy as well. Additionally, more than eighty percent of the country’s population is now expected to be covered by medical and health insurance services, especially since the ramping up and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. What all this means is a booming healthcare industry. The fact that the percentage of the population who now has their own health medical insurance suggests that accessibility to medical and healthcare services, including orthopedic services of course, is increasing as well. Increased in the population’s accessibility to such services can never be a bad thing for healthcare and medical institutions such as Trinity Medical Hospital including its upcoming orthopedic department. What this actually means is a steady stream of patients coming in over the next couple of years. As more patients realize that their health is medically insured and that they would not have to pay cash out of their pockets whenever they visit hospitals and clinics either for medical consultation or to undergo certain medical procedures
People who were born between the 1940s and the 1970s represent a unique group of people in the country’s population. They are called the baby boomers. After more than half a century, they now live in the fast-paced world that people are living in today. These individuals are now part of the geriatric population. It may not yet be fully realized yet but this particular group of people is the one who would most likely have the biggest impact in the orthopedic industry. Basically, majority of the cases that the baby boomer population encounter and or present with are orthopedic cases. Some of the most common examples include but may not be limited to back pains, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, fractures secondary to falls, joint replacements, among others. The fact of the matter is that even with the latest improvements in care delivery, technology, rehabilitation, and even the environment in which patients undergo surgical and post-surgical care, more and more people, particularly those who are a part of the baby boomer group would go to the hospitals to seek consult and care for their orthopedic conditions. According to Unity Point Health, “hips, shoulders, and aching knees are no longer just an issue for the elderly; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 719,000 total knee replacements were performance across the United States in 2010, along with another 332,000 total hip replacements, and estimates suggest total knee replacements will soar to 3.48 million by the year 2030; why such growth? Because not many procedures can improve quality of life the way orthopedic surgery can” . Most people who seek the help of orthopedic specialists are those who cannot walk or are suffering from a certain kind of physical impairment. Orthopedic specialists work by diagnosing the problem and making manipulations and operations to address the underlying condition. Fractured bones for example are either placed in a cast for immobilization or fixated using screws and other equipment for both immobilization and stabilization. The scope of practice of professionals working in the orthopedic industry is simply large and this is why Trinity Community Hospital must prioritize its preparations to create its own orthopedic department.
Analyze how current international healthcare trends (i.e. Medical Tourism was chosen as the main trend to be discussed) could be incorporated into the development of the new service line
It has already been established that the orthopedic industry is one of the ones who would benefit the most from the growth in demand in healthcare and medical services mainly because of the aging baby boomer population. Considering this alone, it may already be safe to say that the future of professionals working and businesses operating in this field may already be considered secured at least for the next coming years as the growth has not really kicked in yet; in fact, it is believed that it is not going to reach a peak in demand until after the year 2020. Although these are merely forecasts and estimates, they represent the healthcare and orthopedic industry experts’ view and analysis so there must at least be a certain truth to what is being suggested to be the future of the industry .
Trinity Community Hospital is perceived as a business. This means that their ultimate goal is to earn profits and revenues, by selling medical and health care products and services to its patients that is. This type of business and or organizational model is not exactly new. In fact, a lot of hospitals and medical institutions have been driven by profits; the important thing to remember is that despite being driven by profits, these organizations, including Trinity Community Hospital strive for competence; and for these organizations, being able to provide the highest possible quality of health care and medical service is just one of the many options. This means that these profit-driven organizations are always on the hunt for new types of add-on services and perks that can complement the already high quality of healthcare and medical service that they provide to their patients.
Perhaps one of the best things that they were able to come up with was medical tourism. The dramatic increase in the growth of medical tourism is one of the latest international healthcare trends that Trinity Community Hospital, particularly its new and upcoming orthopedic department must be able to ride. Medical tourism basically refers to processes wherein a person from another country or county visits another country or county for the purpose of gaining access to the medical and healthcare treatment and facilities available in the target location. In a way, this describes the process of trade or exporting to be exact only that the buyers are the ones visiting the sellers of the product and or service, which in this case pertains to medical and healthcare products and or services. One of the major focuses of medical institutions that aim to make their hospitals a center of medical tourism apart from the quality of service (which is automatic), include the infrastructure, the medical equipment, and the competence and popularity of the members of the healthcare and medical staff and teams.
This trend, however, targets the middle and upper social classes because these social classes represent people who are capable and can afford travelling to another country for the sake of obtaining access to the medical and healthcare treatments of their target country. Apart from the costs associated with patient transfers and travel, the costs of medical and healthcare services in another country, is often higher compared to the price levels of similar services in the patient’s home country .
Being able to ride this trend also requires the implementing organization to have the capacity to shell out a huge amount of capital which will be used to make improvements in the infrastructure and design of the facilities, purchasing the highest end and often the most expensive medical equipment sets, and employing the most competent medical and healthcare staff.
Discuss the existing programs and service lines in the healthcare organization that could serve as complementary components of the new service line.
Making sure that the existing services at Trinity Community Hospital would complement that of its new and upcoming Orthopedic Center must be one of its highest priorities. Currently, these (existing) services include family medicine, geriatrics, internal medicine, general surgery, thoracic surgery, radiology, emergency services, and primary health care units (i.e. for prevention and early diagnosis of diseases such as osteoporosis in the case of the orthopedic center). Some of the most important sources of referral for the orthopedic center would most likely be internal medicine, radiologic department (since most orthopedic medical cases are diagnosed using radiologic diagnostic procedures), and emergency services (e.g. traumatic cases leading to orthopedic conditions such as fractures, dislocations, subluxations, and etc.). The geriatric and primary care services departments would also be important as far as being referral sources is concerned. Geriatric patients are very prone to chronic degenerative joint diseases such as osteoporosis which often require the services of orthopedic surgeons (i.e. joint replacements). The primary care service unit (for prevention of medical conditions) may also be a source of referrals. There are, for example, cases where patients get directed to go to orthopedic center to have their bone density checked to determine their risk of developing osteoporosis.
Analyze the financial and operating data to determine the financial feasibility of instituting the new service line.
According to the five year target outcomes for the regional orthopedic center, Trinity Community Hospital aims to be within the 90th percentile in terms of the following criteria: likelihood of recommending and physician satisfaction. In terms of growth and profitability, Trinity Community Hospital aims to finish 2,100 surgical cases, 6,500 physical therapy visits, with an estimated profit margin for both kinds of cases (surgical and rehabilitation i.e. physical therapy) of $2,171,500. The following table summarizes the capital investment plan for the proposed Orthopedic Center that would allow Trinity Community Hospital to provide orthopedic service lines to its prospective clients.
The most important question to ask when it comes to the financial and operating data is how much Trinity Community Hospital has to spend in order to establish a new business line which would be an orthopedic department, and how much it can actually shell out for it to be able to successfully and decently execute its plans in terms of the mainstream and complementary services it aims to be able to provide to its prospective customers, the patients. What should be the major cause of concern here would be whether Trinity Community Hospital can actually afford to put up the necessary facilities for it to be considered a medical institution that is capable of meeting medical tourism standards. It has been mentioned earlier that the establishment of a medical tourism hub is a costly endeavor because a huge amount of capital is required in order to build state of the art hotel-like infrastructures both in terms of quality and spaciousness, top of the line and high technology medical equipment, and the renowned orthopedic experts and other medical and healthcare staff members in the field. It really is not a question whether Trinity Community Hospital can afford to establish a typical orthopedic line of business or department because it really can; but with the huge upfront investment costs associated with creating a medical tourism-capable orthopedic department, Trinity Community Hospital’s ability may be questionable. But in case it can have access to the necessary volume of capital required to decently put up one either through a bank loan, issuance of debt to an investor, or simply be securing funds from the hospital’s cash reserves coming from the profits of the previous years of operation, then this could really present as a huge growth and opportunity for Trinity Community Hospital.
Discuss how to target and market to physicians to secure referral services
This is a new line of business that Trinity Community Hospital is aiming to create. They are not exactly creating one from scratch because it has actually been some time since Trinity Community Hospital started its operations already. So, the new and upcoming orthopedic department that it is going to put up would most likely have the same level of brand awareness (i.e. marketing presence) as the parent company (i.e. Trinity Community Hospital). This is a good starting point for the orthopedic department because the marketing costs, if ever it wants to increase the marketability of its products and services can be significantly reduced. Social media marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways of increasing marketability . The upfront costs and costs of operation are not high compared to television and direct marketing and advertising. So, this should be one of Trinity Community Hospital’s marketing strategies for its orthopedic department.
If Trinity Community Hospital would indeed push through with the proposed plans to offer medical tourism as a complementary or add-on service to its patients, then it would most likely have the best and renowned orthopedic experts in its team—because that is one of the requirements of a medical tourism-centered medical institution after all. These experts are well connected already because of their popularity and so Trinity Community Hospital would not have any problem when it comes to getting referrals for their new department. Moreover, its physicians from its already established departments could simply be asked to direct all of its referrals (for orthopedic cases) to the newly established orthopedic department.
So how can Trinity Community Hospital recruit the best physicians and get a lot of referrals for its new orthopedic center? The key to obtaining a continuous flow of referrals is to hire the best and most connected physicians. So if Trinity Community Hospital can hire the best physicians for its orthopedic centers, it would be able to solve two problems simultaneously. The goal again is to recruit the best physicians.
One of the best ways to do this is to get a good team who would do the screening procedure for the new physicians. One important requirement is that the physicians must be well-connected to other physicians preferably from different medical institutions that would most likely require orthopedic health care services. Motivation is also an important component to screen as it is important for the physicians’ motivation to be in line with the organization. Using technology-oriented strategies may also be necessary. Posting job advertisements in social media platforms such as LinkedIn and on Trinity Community Hospital’s website may be the best idea because they are highly cost-effective. Retaining those newly recruited orthopedic specialists and physicians would be as important as hiring them. In that case, the best solution would be to employ an effective reward system. Offering lifestyle benefits such as two year compensation guarantees, signing bonuses, compensation increases based on performance, and flexible scheduling are some of the best ideas that Trinity Community Hospital can start at.
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