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Ahead of the marcus evans National Healthcare CXO Summit 2021Brian Cannavan discusses how hospital systems can improve financial and operational results

How Hospital Systems Can Unlock Better Results by Optimizing Business Planning

Brian Cannavan

Chief Executive Officer

Plan4 Healthcare

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About the National Healthcare CXO Summit 2021

The National Healthcare CXO Summit is an invitation-only, premium Summit bringing leading senior level healthcare executives and innovative suppliers and solution providers together. The Summit’s content is aligned with key clinical trial challenges and interests, relevant market developments, and practical and progressive ideas and strategies adopted by successful pioneers.

“It’s time for hospital systems to think differently about business planning,” advises Brian Cannavan, Chief Executive Officer, Plan4 Healthcare. Almost all hospitals engage in strategic planning, and conduct financial planning and budgeting, but very few link these together to unlock better results, he adds.

Plan4 Healthcare is a service provider at the marcus evans National Healthcare CXO Summit 2021.

What challenges are hospital administrators facing today? What are the operational hurdles of budgeting, forecasting and resource allocation at hospital systems?

Planning is essential for all organizations, yet it is often pushed to the side in favor of short-term priorities. By using modern technology to facilitate planning and budgeting, organizations can be more efficient in planning, make better use of data to inform planning decisions, and effectively integrate planning and execution into ongoing management.

What causes inefficiencies, misused resources, and reduced quality of care?

All of these items can be linked to a lack of planning and monitoring of that plan. An organization needs to keep track of what it intends to do, how it intends to do it, and the related resource needs, while at the same time monitor how it is doing against this plan, to identify areas it needs to change to accomplish it.

Has the pandemic brought about any new challenges? What?

Even the best laid plans will change, and healthcare organizations must expect the unexpected, as evidenced most recently by COVID-19. The challenges have included increased costs directly related to need for increased amount of PPE, decreased revenues due to postponement of elective surgeries, and mental and physical strain on employees.

How can they optimize their operations? What tools do they need to run a more efficient enterprise? 

An organization’s planning platform and methods must be agile, and balance the need to look to the future with an ability to respond quickly and decisively to emerging opportunities and challenges. They need to be able to quickly assess the need for new expenses, and balance it with decreased revenue while retaining current employees.

What would allow them to make data-driven decisions in a transparent way? 

Ongoing maintenance and monitoring of daily and annual performance. Taking the current financial status of an organization and its business units, and comparing it to the original plan, and any opportunities to pivot during the year. We leverage technology to process data, and compare the budget to actuals, while tracking key performance indicators to make sure goals are met while budgets are maintained.

What makes the biggest impact on the financial stability of their system?

The biggest impact to their stability is being able to balance the planning triangle of strategic goals, resource budget, and daily workload. Each of these factors affects the others and all must be maintained in equilibrium. If one factor shifts, the others must be reassessed and adjusted accordingly, so the organization achieves its goals within its means. 

How can hospitals maximize the potential of their facilities and leadership?

Almost all organizations engage in strategic planning, and almost all conduct financial planning and budgeting. Few are able to link these types of planning together in a meaningful way. Better results are unlocked when an organization’s annual budgeting is driven by strategic priorities, and tied to specific operational tactics and objectives.

About Plan4 Healthcare 

At Plan 4 Healthcare, we’ve created 4Cast, a revolutionary software as a service (SaaS) product, backed by a proven business planning methodology, that offers a complete solution to increase planning effectiveness and operational efficiency for all hospital systems. 4Cast is simple to implement and delivers proven benefits, such as customized department-level planning modules, reporting features, and 24/7 cloud functionality. The software provides a simple experience for all users, collects data for detailed reporting, and instills management discipline and accountability in staff while creating an operational foundation for long term success. With 4Cast, you’re able to plan from start to finish with accuracy, developing comprehensive operating plans and budgets while saving time and money. Organizations that are ready to create a clear, sustainable business strategy will discover immediate benefits from the 4Cast solution.