Growth strategies for independent anesthesiology groups

It's easy to say your organization desires growth. But actually putting your words into action is slightly more difficult. During a presentation at the Becker's ASC 23rd Annual Meeting in Chicago, Daniel Simile, vice president of practice management for Zotec Partners, outlined six business fundamentals for independent anesthesiology groups looking to implement a growth plan.

1. Develop a growth philosophy. Mr. Simile discussed four major books that healthcare professionals may use to create such a philosophy: Jim Collins' Good to Great, Michael Treacy's Double-Digit Growth, Reneé Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim's Blue Ocean Strategy and B. Joseph Pine and James H. Gilmore's The Experience Economy.

These selections offer various mindsets and strategies for healthcare leaders to utilize. No matter what type of growth philosophy one decides to use, it's important to thoroughly develop it. Writing a growth philosophy "haphazardly or as time permits is something we don't want to do," Mr. Simile said.

2. Self-assessment. Once an independent anesthesiology group understands its philosophy for growth, it must determine how and where it wants to grow. "Analytics is very important in learning where you want to grow," said Mr. Simile.

But it's more than analytics. Groups need to assess their operating model. "If you don't have an operating model that's efficient, it's going to be hard to grow because [the model is] broken," said Mr. Simile.

In addition, groups must examine where their primary market is and analyze their relationships with key players in the space. Mr. Simile noted that in order to be successful, "there needs to be a compelling reason for someone to do business with you."

Most importantly, a group must be sure to self-assess in an unbiased manner. "If you're going to go out there and say you're the best, you have to be able to support it," said Mr. Simile.

3. Define growth. Growth can be assessed in a variety of different ways. While one group may be set on growing its revenue, another may be more focused on growing one of its service lines. No matter how growth is defined, "make sure it's in some way that you can measure it," said Mr. Simile.

4. Commit to a strategy. Even when a group commits itself to a specific strategy, it must maintain a stable operating model, sustain strong leadership and governance teams and retain its existing business. Although a group must adhere to and acknowledge those obligations, it should also invest in multiple growth paths. "You can start a multi-pronged path of where you want to go," said Mr. Simile.

5. Execute. After completing the first four steps, a group will be able to put its growth plan into action. While executing its plan, a group must keep its strategy top of mind. "If you are executing but don't have a strategy, you're just going to be spinning your wheels," Mr. Simile noted.

6. Measure success. A group should assess its success after implementing its plan. Mr. Simile stressed that groups should measure their success — or lack thereof — via scoreboards and lead indicators, both of which can gauge specific factors in the group's growth plan. "You want to have a scoreboard that should indicate what percent you want to grow," he said.

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