How should the Open Door Family Medical Centers Grow?

CONTEXT

Open Door Family Medical Centers is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that works to keep the people of Westchester and Putnam Counties in New York state healthy and strong, regardless of their ability to pay, with a broad focus on building healthier communities. Their vision is to serve more than 55,000 patients every year by 2020, expanding to new communities, enriching service offerings, and continuing to uphold the highest standards of high-quality, patient-centered, affordable health care. It is in this context that Open Door decided it was time to work on a strategic plan for growth in terms of number of patients and impact, addressing questions such as: Should we stick to our core business, or expand into other related businesses? Should we expand our footprint geographically? Should we engage in more research and development? Are there other ways we can best use our resources to further our mission?

Open Door’s context is made more complex by a transforming healthcare environment in the United States, including changes in their patient population, the consolidation toward bigger and more integrated systems of care, shifts toward patient-centered models of care, and ongoing pressures to reduce health care costs. These industry shifts meant that growth must be strategic and cost-effective.

METHOD

Working closely with Open Door Staff, we:

  1.  Assessed the competitive landscape of neighboring health care providers and researched the demographics of the area to understand if and where there was a need for expansion
  2.  Surveyed current patients to better understand their needs and wants from Open Door’s services
  3.  Assessed operational bottlenecks and other challenges to see where internal improvements could be made to facilitate growth
  4.  Analyzed the external trends and changes impacting the health care environment, and FQHC’s in particular
  5.  Identified four strategic goals and developed a series of initiatives for Open Door’s growth
  6. Created a detailed financial projection, laying out the unique resource requirements associated with each initiative over five years
  7. Designed performance metrics and tracking methods
  8. Created a detailed implementation plan that outlined who would do what, by when

OUTCOMES

The research and assessment phase brought out a number of factors to consider when looking at expansion, such a political relationships with other health centers in target areas, space capacity and constraints for new services within Open Door’s current structure, and financial implications of shifting care models.

Working with a Planning Team from Open Door, Wellspring Consulting laid out four strategic goals to better meet the needs of Open Door’s patients, supported by 12 objectives and 30 initiatives for Open Door for the next five years. These initiatives included specific action steps, identified a staff owner, and laid out detailed resource requirements. Initiatives were also prioritized based on resource utilization, ease of implementation and anticipated impact, and then laid out on an implementation timeline to guide the next five years.

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