Tackling the Tough Work of Service Distribution

Among the hot topics in health care right now is the concept of service distribution—the hard work that health systems are doing to ensure that services are appropriately placed across the system’s various facilities and campuses to meet patients’ needs now and in the future. In some markets, or with select services, this may mean service expansion (eg, enhancing access to virtual health, primary care or rehab), but often this translates into service consolidation (eg, centralizing orthopedics from multiple acute facilities to fewer). The aim is to shift a hospital’s identity from within a community to within a system, all the while ensuring that patient touchpoints are not removed in an effort to reduce risks of leakage.

The Path to Service Distribution

In markets with growing populations, redistribution efforts can expand access channels for key services to stay ahead of competitors. In flat or declining markets, service restructuring can reduce redundancies and enable efficiencies that drive down costs.

Making Bold Decisions

A shortsighted approach resists service disruption but fails to set up most markets for the long-term success enabled by a model that reduces cost without hindering quality or patient access. A well-constructed service distribution strategy includes a strategic, objective evaluation process.

Effective Service Distribution Is Implemented in Stages

For key steps that make up a systematic, data-driven approach, read the full Expert Insight, or review the Sg2 report Service Distribution: Making the Hard Choices. Not an Sg2 member? Contact us to learn more about our 3-stage service distribution approach designed to keep the team on track, evaluate various options and leverage data and organizational goals to ultimately make the best choice.

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