The heartbeat of any sprawling, large healthcare organization is the pace of its own internal operations. How rapidly and effectively does a health system detect problems and opportunities? Collect intelligence, analyze and communicate patterns, and act?
These are tough questions, in an era when many health systems are in some degree of turmoil as they expand, integrate new partners, and face troubling uncertainty in payment systems. Internal operations are strained, and operational leaders are pushed to stay ahead of these escalating demands.
The larger our organizations grow, and the faster they have to move in the market and in their internal operations, the more important these abilities to sense, decide and act become. This can feel like an enormous contradiction.
How do you achieve “system-ness” across a disparate group of hospitals and physician practices, really understand the problems they face, get smart contributions to finding the right solutions, and ensure broad buy-in and support for accelerated implementation?
I have been fascinated by Lucro because it introduces a new operating system, as a platform for decision-making about products and services. Early use cases show that it allows operators to quickly assemble internal networks of staff to focus on a problem. They can quickly scan for projects underway across their own health system and gain insights into potential solutions from crowdsourced knowledge across the industry. They can develop and administer RFPs (either open or blinded so vendors don’t know the health system’s identity), compare responses, and plan implementation.
The key here, and the reason this is so compelling, is the power of networks to get jobs done with a minimum of the hassles we are used to – with far fewer travel days, phone calls, web conferences, and email chains. The platform allows networks to form to address any question.
The CNO of a health system who has been charged with evaluating new software solutions for nurse staffing may know that 3 hospitals in their system have already adopted completely separate new solutions, while one hospital built their own – and now the CNO has to bring nursing leaders and staff from 15 institutions onto the same page for a system-wide decision.
In another case, a 50-hospital health system that employs 12 different food services vendors, seeking standardization, drives internal alignment around comparisons and evaluations to produce a smaller, more efficient panel of 2-3 vendor partners.
The need to build transparency and consensus, find best performers internally, speed decision-making, and drive out cost and redundancy is fueling growing interest in Lucro.
And like most network platforms, to minimize friction for rapid adoption, the use of Lucro is without cost for health systems because of the value it provides to vendors. Instead of relying only on cold calls, exhibits at trade shows, and inclusion in RFPs, vendors can post their marketing information to Lucro and be easily found by healthcare organizations exactly when those systems are seeking that type of products or services. References from satisfied customers are shared more efficiently, and vendors learn from Lucro about patterns of customer interests, criteria for decisions, and trends across the industry – which itself drives better decision-making and performance among vendors.
Lucro is a new operating system designed to help health systems achieve system-ness, by providing a critical tool to improve an organization’s ability to sense, decide, and act.
If you work in healthcare and this is a challenge for your system, check out Lucro - it’s working for other organizations like yours (and it’s free).
Molly Coye, MD, MPH
Board of Advisors, Lucro
Former Chief Innovation Officer, UCLA Health