Houston Klassen | Executive Vice-President | Infinite Leap
There is little argument from healthcare providers about the importance of having an RTLS infrastructure in place to help improve workflows, throughput and patient satisfaction.
However, there is plenty of debate about how to justify the value enough to get the funding approval to do it properly.
I hear the same story with just about every healthcare system that I work with, and thankfully I’ve been able to work with a number of very prominent systems that put the time and energy forward to really investigate and justify moving ahead with a multi-year, multi-phase project. The most successful implementations occur when a comprehensive business plan is developed. Good plans cut through the typical marketing hype and focus on defining objectives as well as setting realistic cost/benefit expectations. They also proactively provide the information that your executive leadership will need to support a project of this nature.
From our experience, building a business model that is ultimately funded really depends upon being able to adequately provide the following information:
1. Clear understanding of the strategic vision and direction for the organization.
2. Unbiased collection of the organization’s issues, opportunities, and needs… regardless of how they relate to the project.
3. Full inventory of current or pending projects and systems that can be enhanced or augmented through the use of RTLS.
4. Detailed and comprehensive accounting of all issues, opportunities and needs that can be addressed by the use of a well-planned and designed RTLS system, along with how they contribute to advancing the organization’s overall strategies and goals.
5. Assess the current state and define the desired future state of processes and use cases for which real-time technologies may be applied.
6. Design a technical architectural which will define the technical requirements of the solution. This takes into account how the system will integrate or augment existing systems as well as how it can best accommodate the identified use cases.
7. Estimate of the cost of the required solution components in order to provide budgetary sizing.
8. Recommended deployment roadmap which defines how technology and use cases (value) will be implemented over a minimum of a five-year period.
9. Full financial projections for that same five-year period, outlining all required components to deploy a successful project – to include both capital and operating expenses, including ongoing resources required to support and maintain the system.
10. Corresponding benefit/ROI projections including both soft and hard dollar returns for each use case, including an initial baseline, as well as target goals and metrics to be collected so as to be able to provide quantifiable documentation of value throughout the project.
11. Resourcing models and detailed requirements for the specific roles and management structure for the team and the project, including well-defined governance and operational structures.
12. An executive presentation that can easily and clearly communicate the above referenced components in less than 10 slides and 20 minutes of conversation.
This is not an inconsequential set of work, nor is it simple to execute against. However, this is the EXACT type of documentation and supporting evidence that executive teams are searching for when they are committing to projects such as an enterprise-wide RTLS deployment.
Projects that fail to receive funding and become stagnant or fade away can often trace back the cause to having skipped the thoughtful development of the business case and plan. They rely on their intuitive belief in the value of the product, and often get stuck when executives ask for more detail. Sometimes they may be fortunate enough to be funded anyway, but without a definitive plan and a proper set of expectations for cost, results, timelines and effort, the odds of the envisioned success being realized are very slim.
From our years helping hospitals successfully deploy and realize the value of an RTLS solutions, we have clearly seen that the healthcare organizations that make the investment up front to work through the creation of a business model have an exponentially higher rate of success.
If you need assistance creating a business model that your hospital leadership team can approve, we can help. Our solution design experts can guide you through this process and do a lot of the heavy lifting so that by the end of the 90-day process, you are ready to confidently present your request for the funding of your RTLS project.