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Leveraging Operational Excellence in Healthcare

March 21, 2024

Strategic alliances, affiliations, shared services, and joint ventures have become crucial strategies in building scale and improving the bottom line for businesses. In today’s competitive market, companies are no longer relying solely on their internal capabilities to grow and succeed. Instead, they are turning to external partnerships and collaborations to leverage their strengths and expand their reach. 

One of the key advantages of strategic alliances is the ability to access new markets and customer segments. By forming partnerships with other companies, Physicians, and complimentary businesses they can tap into their partner’s existing customer base and gain entry into new geographic regions. This not only helps to increase sales and revenue but also enhances the company’s brand visibility and recognition. Additionally, the patient benefits from this collaborative ecosystem.  

In addition to market expansion, alliances, and affiliations also provide the opportunity to share resources and expenses. This allows companies to achieve economies of scale and cost savings. It is seen in the shared services model, where healthcare providers collaborate to optimize their functions such as IT, finance, and human resources. By centralizing these shared services, businesses can streamline processes, reduce redundancies, and allocate resources more efficiently, resulting in improved operational effectiveness and reduced costs. It allows patients to receive multiple services in one location or under a single group. Their information will be stored in a system that can be accessed in multiple locations.  

Joint ventures allow companies to combine their expertise and capabilities to pursue mutually beneficial opportunities. By bringing together complementary skills and knowledge, businesses can leverage each other’s strengths and drive innovation. Joint ventures also provide a platform for risk-sharing, as companies can distribute the cost and potential downsides of ventures while also reaping the rewards of successful ventures. 

Overall, strategic alliances, affiliations, shared services, and joint ventures offer numerous advantages for businesses aiming to build scale and improve their bottom line. By utilizing these collaborative strategies, companies can expand their market presence, optimize resource allocation, drive innovation, and enhance their overall competitiveness in the ever-evolving business landscape. 

Healthcare providers are constantly seeking ways to build scale and achieve sustainable growth while managing costs. While organic growth is a viable strategy, it often requires a significant investment of time, resources, and effort. Alternatively, healthcare providers can explore strategic alliances, affiliations, shared services, and joint ventures to expand their operations while optimizing costs and improving the bottom line.  

To ensure success in these endeavors, operational excellence must be at the forefront of any organization’s strategy. It involves creating a robust operational framework and implementing the right tools and resources to align people, processes, and technology. Operational excellence serves as the core driver for healthcare providers looking to leverage strategic alliances and shared services to scale their operations and maximize profitability.  

Operational excellence encompasses streamlining and optimizing business operations to achieve efficiency, productivity, and cost-effectiveness. It involves a holistic approach that emphasizes continuous improvement, innovation, and a keen focus on patient value. By implementing a culture of operational excellence, healthcare providers pave the way for smooth collaboration and integration in strategic alliances and shared services.  

When exploring strategic alliances, healthcare providers join forces with other entities to pursue common goals, share resources, and gain a competitive edge. These alliances can manifest in various forms, such as joint marketing initiatives, co-developing products/services, or sharing distribution networks. By leveraging operational excellence, healthcare providers ensure they are operationally sound and capable of adding value to these alliances. Implementing standardized processes, efficient supply chain management, and seamless integration of IT systems are crucial for successful collaborations. According to American Public University, a full supply chain in is often part of health groups’ outside spending can be up to 40% of all costs.  

Affiliations, on the other hand, involve healthcare providers working together to achieve specific objectives while retaining their separate identities. These affiliations can be industry-specific partnerships, professional associations, or trade organizations. Operational excellence plays a vital role here as well, as healthcare providers must align their operations with the collective vision, goals, and standards set by the affiliation. By adhering to best practices, sharing knowledge, and exchanging ideas, healthcare providers can drive innovation, improve industry standards, and elevate their business performance.  

Shared services and joint ventures provide unique avenues for providers to pool together resources, expertise, and costs. Shared services involve centralizing and consolidating specific business operations or functions, such as finance, human resources, or IT, to achieve cost savings and process efficiencies. Operational excellence becomes critical in this context, where provider networks must establish standardized processes, implement automation and technology solutions, and ensure seamless communication and collaboration across the shared services framework.  

Joint ventures take collaboration a step further by establishing a separate entity with partner providers to pursue a specific business opportunity or venture. Operational excellence plays a significant role in the success of joint ventures, providers must align their cultures, systems, and processes to create a cohesive and efficient operating structure. By leveraging operational excellence, they can streamline operations, eliminate redundancies, and drive synergies to maximize profitability and minimize risk.  

To achieve operational excellence, healthcare providers must focus on optimizing efficiency, fostering continuous improvement, investing in technology, and building strong relationships with suppliers and partners. This will lead to enhanced productivity, improved problem-solving skills, increased operational efficiency, and the ability to meet evolving customer needs. Ultimately, these efforts will drive profitability and long-term success. 


To foster operational excellence, providers must focus on several key areas: 

  1. People: Your human capital is your most valuable asset. Building a culture of continuous improvement is crucial for providers. This involves empowering employees and investing in their training and development. Empowering employees means giving them autonomy and authority to speak, act, build, and create, in alignment with your goals and values. Investing in training and development ensures employees have the necessary skills. These components help providers stay ahead in the fast-paced business world. 
  1. Process: The goal is to ensure that all processes within the organization are standardized, simplified, and optimized. To achieve this, we utilize process mapping and business process reengineering techniques. These methods allow us to identify areas of improvement and implement changes that enhance efficiency and productivity across the board. By focusing on these processes, we can drive sustainable growth and success for our company. 
  1. Technology: Leveraging technological solutions to foster collaboration and integration across various departments, streamline workflows, and enhance data-driven decision-making. In today’s interconnected world, businesses must use the right technology to collaborate and streamline operations. Technology allows for data-driven decision-making and improves communication among employees. Embracing technology leads to growth, innovation, and new opportunities for businesses. Ensure you are using tools that serve both your human capital, your patients, and your business. If it doesn’t serve all three of those areas it may be worth building-out or replacing. 
  1. Performance Measurement: Performance Measurement involves the establishment of key performance indicators (KPIs) and the regular monitoring of operational metrics in order to track progress, identify bottlenecks, and drive continuous improvement. This is an essential aspect of effective business management. By carefully measuring and analyzing data, healthcare providers can gain valuable insights into their performance and make informed decisions to optimize their operations. 

By prioritizing operational excellence and ensuring that healthcare providers are operating effectively, businesses can utilize strategic alliances, affiliations, shared services, and joint ventures to enhance their scale, optimize expenses, and improve profitability. Establishing a robust operational foundation that aligns people, processes, and technology is essential for driving efficiency, productivity, and customer value. In today’s dynamic business environment, achieving operational excellence serves as a crucial factor in outpacing competitors and achieving long-term success. Our expertise lies in assisting companies in boosting efficiency and maximizing their bottom lines. If you’re interested in exploring how operational excellence can benefit your business, schedule a no-obligation consultation today