Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Anticipating and adjusting to the climate

Anticipating and adjusting to the climate

anticipating-and-adjusting-to-the-climate- image0When we lived in the Fort Worth area, I had the opportunity to get to know the CEO and president of RadioShack. Not so much on a personal level, but he served on the corporate board for a group of hospitals with which I was employed. It was interesting to hear him talk about his strategies for RadioShack — a national company. Of course, during this year's Super Bowl everyone noticed the advertisement for RadioShack and how it centered on plans to change the corporation's image. Last week, RadioShack announced plans to close up to 1,100 stores or about a fifth of its U.S. locations after weak holiday sales. At the same time, Staples announced plans to close 225 stores. The reason management of Staples gave is that nearly half of its sales are now generated online. The CEO said his plan is to fundamentally reinvent Staples. It stands to reason that since people are shopping online so much these days that there is not the need for so many retail locations.

Businesses and their strategies change. Smart businesses anticipate and adjust to the climate, while others fade out of existence. Relate these business developments to health care. The needs and expectations of our customers are constantly changing.

We have an opportunity to practice some disruptive innovations right here at Texas Tech Physicians. Take, for example, the reporting of lab test results. It is no longer necessary to have the patient wait several days and then contact the clinic by telephone (where there may be delays) to obtain the desired information. Now, the patient can secure most lab results online from our portal. Another example: a patient can now request an appointment online. Furthermore, he or she can complete much of what we use to call "paperwork" via the portal. The portal speeds things up — and we need to encourage our patients to sign up for the portal and use it.

Regarding the registration process, I think it has all sorts of potential for change. More about that later. In the immediate future, we will be measured by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on two things, among others: how quickly we get test results to patients and how many patients are seen within 15 minutes of their scheduled appointment. Both of these are demanding measures, but remember Tech's motto, from here it's possible.