Andrew Miller's Business Checkup // Insights on Operational Effectiveness for Healthcare
Volume 35, March 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 effectively implement new ideas and enhancements to the way it was operating. Initiatives would have some initial success but within six months employees would revert back to the old ways of operating or have found ways to work around the new processes.

The Intervention

Andrew worked with the organization to develop a process to manage the flow of new ideas and more importantly, review and prioritize them consistently. Andrew developed criteria to be used for prioritizing each idea and then a formal plan was developed for its implementation. That plan was then executed with the desired outcome of integrating the new ways of operating into the organization with no reversion back to the old ways of doing business.

The Results

The organization implemented fewer initiatives, but the ones it did implement had a greater impact on the organization's results. And by more effectively executing on the plan and involving the right people at the right time, the results were more sustainable.
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?

You need a balance between volume of ideas and quality of implementation

You never want to discourage people from suggesting new and better ways for your organization to operate. You just need to balance the number of ideas with the quality of those ideas. A consistent way to review and prioritize those ideas will help you determine the ones that can have the greatest impact and where the organization has the ability to implement them successfully.

You need to have good ideas AND strong execution

If you have great ideas but are poor at implementing those ideas, you will find yourself in the situation my client above found themselves in. The most successful companies not only have great ideas, they are also able to execute on those ideas effectively. That means involving the right people, understanding the overall impact of the idea, and integrating the idea into the way your organization operates. Most organizations don't do all three of those things well.


Transforming Healthcare

In order for us to truly be able to transform the healthcare system, there are a few key areas that we need to focus on:
  • Setting a common standard of excellence for patient care and the way healthcare organizations should operate. What should the expectation be and how will we know when we have achieved it?
  • Improving our ability to implement new ideas and integrate them into the way we operate. Currently this is approached from the organizational level and we need to figure how to do it more effectively at the systemic level.
  • Using collaboration to increase the adoption of new technologies.
  • Aligning the objectives of clinicians and other front line healthcare workers with those of the overall organization.
  • Using the procurement process to improve patient outcomes and results by distinguishing between commodity purchases and more strategic purchases, then developing a different procurement process for those strategic ones.
  • Improving the patient experience and leveraging that to improve outcomes. It's very important that we understand why the patient experience is important, because unlike most other industries, in healthcare we don't want the customer (in this case the patient) to come back.
  • Creating the future vision  of healthcare. What should it look like, what do we need to accomplish to get there, and who should take the lead?

In my new teleconference series, I will tackle all of these key transformational areas as well as many others.

On Andrew MilleR

Upcoming Events
I have launched 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.
In June, I will be speaking at the Canadian College of Healthcare Leaders annual conference in Banff. The topic will be Unlocking Your Hidden Leaders. Click here for more details.

Recent news

I have recently launched a new program to help healthcare organizations improve results through procurement. To learn more about RFP Management on Call, contact me or click here.
I am now writing a weekly column for the Canadian Healthcare Network. Click here to check it out.
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

Follow me on Twitter - @AndrewMillerACM

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone to whom it might be of value.

© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2014.