Our client, a local health system, had an ambulatory platform that was a mix of owned and leased properties. The buildings were of varying ages – older buildings were challenged by maintenance problems and dated finishes, and in some instances the column grids limited renovation options. Utilization across the platform varied by site, providing an opportunity to consolidate and redeploy providers to make better use of the hospital’s assets. They also needed a game plan for physician retirement and recruitment. The client engaged Catalyst to determine the best way forward for its ambulatory services.
We performed a baseline physical assessment of each site and graded it based on its facility functionality (operational flow, appearance, maintenance). We evaluated utilization at each site to determine where capacity existed today and overlaid future recruitment and physician retirement to determine estimated future utilization. Then, we put the two together and held a strategic workshop with hospital leadership to discuss potential consolidation and relocation strategies.
The executed strategy improved use of underutilized space and shifted outpatient services out of the hospital and into a care setting that was more patient friendly. The plan also allowed the system to put providers together who could refer patients to each other within a disease state (e.g., diabetes patients who need to consult with cardiology, internal medicine, or podiatry).
The workshop was key to the success of the project because it created a platform for leadership to communicate openly and without distractions. In the past, planning decisions were often delayed. This session allowed them an opportunity to run different scenarios, get provider input and commitment to the strategy, and execute quickly on the phased solutions.