Andrew Miller's Business Checkup // Insights on Operational Effectiveness for Healthcare
Volume 34, February 2014
This monthly newsletter is designed specifically to help healthcare executives and business owners raise the bar within their organizations by providing insights on how to improve performance and maximize operational effectiveness and profitability.

Case Study

The Situation

An organization was struggling to implement a profitable growth strategy. It was always coming up with new areas for growth, but was not achieving any sustainable success in those areas.

The Intervention

Andrew worked with the organization to identify areas of growth that aligned with the corporate strategy, leveraged corporate strengths, and where the organization had the capability to implement them successfully.

The organization identified two areas of growth that met all three of those criteria and developed a plan for each of them.

The Results

Within one year, the organization's growth rate went from barely 1% to 4% and profitability increased by more than 10%.
About Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller is a leading expert in operational excellence. He helps his clients maximize profitability and performance by integrating strategies around driving innovation and collaboration, improving customer on boarding and retention, aligning strategy and execution, hiring and retaining top people, and optimizing speed.

His healthcare clients include renowned hospitals, global healthcare suppliers, shared service organizations, group purchasing organizations, private clinics and government institutions.


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What insights can you draw from this case study and how might they be applied elsewhere?

Focus on growth in areas that align with corporate direction and strengths

Too many organizations look for growth in areas that don't align well with their corporate strategy, strengths and capabilities. Here is a tool that can help you perform a quick self-assessment on the areas of growth where you can be most successful.

Remember growth should be profitable

It's important that organizations pursue profitable growth. Growth for the sake of growth doesn't make sense. Implement a strategy so that when your organization grows, it is improving the bottom line, not making it worse.


Medical Device Cybersecurity

This month's Viewpoint was provided by Debby Shapero Propp and Anita Fineberg from the Health Lawyer Network. They can be contacted at

From lost laptops to hackers stealing data from millions of Target customers, 2013 saw an upswing in data breaches.  For those in the healthcare sector charged with protecting patient health information, 2014 will bring additional concerns related to medical device cybersecurity.  

The list of medical devices is almost endless – pacemakers, insulin pumps and networked systems are increasingly being used in the care of patients. Such devices are capable of storing and transmitting patient medical information.   

Cybersecurity breaches pose risks to

·       patients – demonstrations have illustrated how an insulin pump can be remotely reprogrammed to deliver lethal doses of insulin and an implantable defibrillator to withhold therapy or deliver shocks and

·       healthcare institutions –  unauthorized access to patient data; exposure if the device is connected to the facility network; compromised patient care and clinical productivity;  class action lawsuits based on the compromise to patient health and the breach of patient privacy;  complaints  filed with regulators claiming that the institution did not have adequate security controls in place to protect patient data.

To get ahead of these cybersecurity exposures, we propose a two-pronged risk management strategy for healthcare institutions:

·       address your security and privacy vulnerabilities and

·       augment your procurement strategies

The security and privacy strategy is significant yet achievable within the healthcare sector. For example, medical devices must be identified and their personal health information holdings included in assessments conducted on the facility’s privacy and security risk exposure; and network connections should also be reviewed.

The procurement strategy involves using the RFP process to obtain and evaluate information about how the device addresses cybersecurity risk.  Critical questions may be asked about how the device processes and protects patient data. Looking south of the border will provide some direction. Developing a procurement process that involves internal subject matter experts from different departments can provide the subject-matter expertise to ask relevant questions.

We predict that the vulnerability of medical devices and the potential for deadly consequences for patients and institutional legal exposure is an issue that will receive increased attention in 2014. Healthcare executives who wish to be proactive should consider implementing a risk management strategy addressing privacy and security vulnerabilities in medical devices and procuring new devices that manage these risks.

On Andrew MilleR


Upcoming Events
On February 25, I will be speaking at MEDEC's event on Making Sense of the Healthcare Puzzle. Click here to register and for more details.
I am launching a teleconference series on How to Transform Healthcare Through Operational Excellence. Click here to register and for more details.
My forthcoming book, Redefining Operational Excellence: New Strategies for Maximizing Performance and Profits Across the Organization, is due out in June. Click here to pre-order your copy.


Recent news

I am now writing a weekly column for the Canadian Healthcare Network. Click here to check it out.

Read my latest article for the Ontario Hospital Association on how to achieve profitable growth in a changing healthcare industry.

Check out my blog, From Chaos to Order, where I post new articles, provocative ideas and other content regularly.

Recent videos
Check out my video series on Operational Excellence. These are short videos filled with tips to help your business run more effectively.

Please note that we grow our business through referrals and would never be too busy to speak with a friend, family member, acquaintance or colleague if you think we could be of assistance.

Please contact Andrew Miller at 416-480-1336 or visit our website at

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© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2014.