Based in Phoenix, Banner Health is one of United States’ largest non-profit healthcare organizations. Banner Health was formed in 1999 after a merger between Lutheran Health System and Samaritan Health System. The organization operates 20 hospitals and 6 long-term medical care centers in 9 different western states, providing employment to about 25,000 people. Not only does Banner Health offer various specialized services such as cancer treatment, heart care, bone marrow transplants, organ transplants, rehabilitation services, high-order multiple births and behavioral health services but also leads other researchers in the more serious conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and spinal cord injuries. Overall, Banner Health has assets totaling $3.1 billion and a total of $2.6 billion in annual sales (Banner Health, 2011). In addition, the organization offers more that $89 million in community service and charitable care. Because Banner Health’s management is committed to continued healthcare in the next decade, the organization is constantly seeking ways to address network growth, resource management, nurse staffing, and patient satisfaction.
Readiness of Banner Health Network in addressing health issues
Banner Health Network (BHN) is well-equipped to provide comprehensive, compassionate and exceptional patient care. BHN assembles Banner Health-affiliated physicians and 13 acute-care Banner hospitals and services in the Phoenix metro area and Arizona. The BHN offers a complete range of health care services administered in high quality and through an effective and accountable health care organization model. The services offered include acute care, hospice care, home care, nursing registries, residential care, laboratories, rehabilitation centers and surgery centers. The organization employs a unique accountable care model. The model provides a well-coordinated patient experience via a primary care setting. By doing so, BHN is able to improve patient outcomes and manage chronic conditions more effectively.
Challenges and opportunities for network growth
As operational costs continue on an upward trend, employers, insurers, consumers and government agencies will continue to struggle to keep abreast with the economics present in quality healthcare. Banner Health, however, has done well in this regard so far. Coupled with the financial difficulties involved in combining two major health systems into one, the organization has had to readjust to accommodate the burgeoning population growth in Phoenix and its environs, where more than 100,000 new residents join the population. Banner Health has had to grapple with these challenges to remain functional. The organization needs to continue with expansion so as to cater for the needs of the large population. The President of Finance at Banner Health adds that new hospitals need to be added to the Banner Health network every year for the next decade or so. The acquisition of a group of surgery centers in 2007 shows the organization’s visionary strategy for network growth.
In terms of resource management, Banner Health has adopted a strategic plan to ensure that all resources are utilized at an optimum and without wastage. For example in 2011 Banner Health worked towards improving the supply chain. This effort totaled higher than $41.5 million. This is mainly because Banner focused on three main areas of supply expense management physical reference contracting and utilization improvement. Supply utilization was incorporated into the company’s strategic initiative in 2011 to deal with operating room utilization variances. Savings of more than $3 million were made. In 2012, Banner Health’s Supply Utilization strategic initiative has grown tremendously to a $14 base target. In terms of saving on supply expenses, the company realized $4 million in savings. These resulted from pharmacy contracts, achieved by utilizing oral medications rather than IV medications where applicable and using generic drugs rather than brand name drugs where possible. Physician reference contracting helped the company save more than $5 million in cath lab and cardiology contracts. The organization employs a “capped pricing” concept for preference items. Banner Health saves time by using systems that simplify processing of employee information, decrease duplicate employee records and eliminate redundant tasks. One such system is the Lawson HR/ payroll system which enables the organization to decrease the time spent in the pay cycle by two days. This enables staff to perform extra audit work. By taking these measures, Banner Health is able to manage human and monetary resources well while minimizing losses and making significant savings.
Patient satisfaction and experience are extremely crucial to patient loyalty, quality of care and name recognition (Rodak, 2011). The mission of Banner Health is “to make a different in people’s lives through excellent patient care” (Betbeze, 2013). Not only does Banner Health provide excellent care but also strives to respect the rights and personal dignity of the patients. Banner Health recognizes the value of improving patient experience and satisfaction. That is why they have systems in place to capture data that can assist them identify their strengths and weaknesses in delivering patient care. This is achieved by requesting for patient feedback. Banner Health recognizes that communication is an important factor that affects feedback by patients. Physicians at the organization explain procedures and make efforts to make patients feel comfortable and safe. Banner also has interactive programs from Skylight Healthcare systems which it uses to address concerns and educate patients. In addition, Banner has implemented room service in several of its Phoenix-area hospitals. This allows patients to be served with meals from their bedside upon request. This helps to improve the comfort of the patients.
Banner Health recognizes the special role played by nurses in ensuring effective healthcare is provided to the patients. With the expansion of the Banner Health Network, more nurses are required. The organization is a preferred employer because it treats its nurses and other medical personnel with dignity and respect. Not only does the organization employ hundreds of nurses but also promotes their professional practice. The network provides about 1,000 hours of orientation instruction which is unit-based and facilitates the teaching of more than 1,300 classes to 9,000 nurses. Nurses also get competitive compensation, private housing, attractive completion bonuses and the advantages of electronic medical records.
Banner Health is a Phoenix-based non-profit healthcare organization. The organization, which has 20 hospitals and 6 long-term medical care centers, has implemented futuristic strategies in addressing network growth, resource management, nurse staffing, and patient satisfaction. In terms of readiness, Banner Health Network is well-equipped to provide quality healthcare to patients in the wider central Phoenix and parts of Arizona for the next decade. The network has expanded to serve the burgeoning population by establishing 20 hospitals and 6 long-term medical care centers in 9 different western states which handle a wide range of illnesses. The organization strives to manage its resources effectively as is demonstrated by its cost-cutting strategies in the three main areas of: supply expense management physical reference contracting and utilization improvement. Patient satisfaction is ensured through a patient-centered approach of identifying strengths and weaknesses in service delivery by feedback-based research. Respecting the rights and personal dignity of the patients and proper communication helps to ease concerns and to foster comfort. Proper nurse staffing and training is also maintained in the organization.
Betbeze, P. (2013). Delivering Patient Satisfaction. Healthcare business news, research, analysis for hospital executives. – Health Leaders Media. Retrieved September 12, 2013, from http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/content/MAG-259990/Delivering-Patient-Satisfaction
Rodak, S. (2011). Increasing Patient Satisfaction Through Interactive Patient Programs. Becker's Hospital Review. Retrieved September 12, 2013, from http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/quality/increasing-patient-satisfaction-throughinteractive-patient
Banner Health (2013). Banner Staffing Services (Registry) & Banner Health Travelers. Banner Health Careers. http://www.bannerhealth.com/Careers/Careers+in+Demand/Staffing+and+Travel/_BPR+BSS+Travel.htm
Banner Health (2011). Responding to Healthcare’s Most Urgent Business Issues Merger, Growth and Cost Challenges Lead Multi-state Organization to Lawson