Is Service Line Success Embedded in Design or Execution: Part 2

The following is a continuation of an earlier posting.

The Disconnect Between Strategy and Service Line Structure

At the risk of boring repetition, structure should follow strategy. There is no universal ‘right’ way — or ‘wrong’ way, except perhaps blind restructuring of clinical services into service lines without a defined strategy as to how value will be created and what capabilities and resources must be brought to bear effective execution.

Strategy then is not just an aggregation of tactics, but a leadership-driven approach to articulating a futuristic vision for how a service line intends to compete. To get to this point, health systems must develop a point of view as to how the market is likely to unfold, identify specific strategies to create a distinct and compelling market position and then create a business model and structure to effect achievement of its goals.

In its generic form, the product line and brand management models developed by industry leaders such as Proctor and Gamble and GE, are useful frameworks for designing an approach to service line leadership with the fundamental intent of optimizing the organization’s market position for a defined service line.

There may be more to learn today from the product or brand management models that evolved in the consumer goods and services industries as we address increasing consumer influence in the selection, purchase and use of health services and products. However, to be receptive to the advantages offered by brand management models, we must suspend the predominant notion about brands as communication devices and adopt an understanding of brand as the totality of customer experience resulting from organizational decisions regarding positioning, design, development and delivery of products and services.

Fundamental differences are realized across key factors. Part III will compare and contrast healthcare’s service line model with industry’s product or brand management model.

Join the discussion. What do you believe to be the key strengths and pitfalls of service line management models?

Karen Corrigan

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