In order for hospitals to be successful in 2015, there are a few very important issues that need to be addressed. Today, we’ll cover 5 of the most pressing issues that will help hospitals overcome the obstacles to success.


1. Compliance with Regulations

From care delivery to coding, complex regulations are proving to be a time-consuming issue–and the rules are ever-changing. As healthcare reform continues to evolve based on the wants and needs of payers, taxpayers, and providers, there seems to be little common ground. Staying up-to-date with compliance on so many different issues is one that has to be properly managed so that penalties can be avoided. But thanks to the help of healthcare IT improvements and outside consulting firms, those issues can be worked through at a pace that makes sense. So what are some of the areas in which regulations are changing? They include:

  • Transition into ICD-10
  • FDA regulations
  • Meaningful use
  • HIPAA compliance

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

2. Physician Burnout

As more patients enter the healthcare system, a higher demand is placed on a limited supply of care providers. These physicians have to avoid burnout to continue providing a high level of quality care. Why? Because the minute a patient senses a doctor being dismissive, they’re ready to take their records and try a different provider–which means less revenue for a hopsital. Finding ways to keep physicians motivated, engaged, and not overworked will help keep the revenue cycle flowing at a hospital.

3. Community Health

While reliance on community programs have been the answer to the community health question for many years, the demand on hospital resources means it’s time for a change in this department. Instead of begging people to attend community health trainings and programs, one solution may be to partner with other non-profits and local experts to reach new audiences within the area. Not only does this lessen the burden on hospital staff, but it helps add more of a true community element to these types of educational programs. Possible partnerships could include:

  • Domestic violence organization outreach
  • Having local dietitians and nutrition experts at food pantries
  • Senior care organizations for elder abuse outreach

4. Hospitals and Closure Risks

Because mergers have led to the purchase of many smaller hospitals, those remaining standalone entities are facing a choice: Close the doors, or join forces with a larger entity. When facing the costs on the ongoing EMR transition in combination with low patient volume, it’s simple dollars and cents that navigate where a hospital will go as it moves forward. However, this often means an exit strategy for hospital C-Suite executives as well–which can sometimes be an obstacle in itself.

5. Data Integration

There’s nothing more costly to a hospital than the loss of precious time and resources that comes from data system disjointedness. 2015 is the year when systems have to start working together–not against each other. When a hospital team can clearly see the big picture from the hard numbers, success can be achieved more easily.

Hospitals can make 2015 an extremely successful year if these issues are kept at the top of the priority list. What would you add?