Measurement and Analysis Case Study:

Boston Children’s Hospital; Boston, Massachusetts

Warbird develops custom data measurement tool to help world-renowned children’s hospital increase international market share

The Opportunity

Recognized as one of the most prestigious and high quality tertiary and quaternary care centers for children in the world, Boston Children’s Hospital sought to increase its share of the global market for children’s healthcare services. According to CFO David Kirshner, although Children’s is renowned for several areas of clinical expertise, there was growing concern about overseas competitors. “We needed to get our arms around how to best measure our international business information flow and ability to process our patients in a timely and effective manner.”

David knew that hospital decision-makers would need concise and timely data about the strengths and weaknesses of the international business and patient flow process within the Children’s system in order to grow international market share. He engaged Warbird Consulting Partners, a professional services firm specializing in value-driven organizational solutions, to develop a measurement and analysis tool designed specifically for hospital executives and physician leaders.

The Solution

David and Steve Nichol, Children’s lead director of the measurement effort, worked with Doug Fenstermaker, Warbird Consulting Partners’ managing director and leader of the company’s healthcare practice. A former healthcare executive with 18 years’ experience as a hospital CFO, Doug helped David and Steve develop a detailed measurement device that identified core indicators, process-oriented performance indicators and data elements that would need to be captured. The data would be provided in an easy-to-use dashboard interface that both meshed with and reflected progress on Children’s newly-developed international business strategic plan.

The project was completed in approximately 90 days and results were presented to the internal board that governs international business, chaired by Alan B. Retik, M.D. During this time, project managers also partnered with Huron Consulting Group’s higher education practice to assist in the creation of a long-range strategic plan for international business development at Boston Children’s Hospital. The hospital embarked on a multi-phase effort to implement the measurement system. Some key performance indicators – such as those related to revenue – were put into operation immediately while other, more complex indicators continued to be developed and refined.

The Boston Children’s Hospital international patient data measurement tool shows how Warbird can add value by custom-designing a solution to meet discreet organizational needs. The selected data indicators provide hospital executives, managers and physician leaders important information about the timeliness and effectiveness of information flow. The data also provides insight into communications and processes in managing a patient at Children’s – from the point of inquiry to the point of returning the patient to the country of origin. By being able to easily access critical indicator data about patient processing, hospital leaders are able to identify points where added efficiency will make Children’s a more attractive choice for patients coming from overseas.

Results: Measuring turn-around time and key economic indicators

The following is an excerpt of the table prepared for Boston Children’s Hospital that shows the nature of the custom-designed measurement tool and the types of indicators to be measured. Each indictor helps hospital leaders and Children’s international oversight board understand where the process is effective and efficient and where it can be improved. This indicator system was integrated with the hospital’s international business strategy to give management and others insight into the effectiveness of Children’s overall international business approach, including timeliness, communications, information flow and actual patient care delivery. The hospital populated the table with indicators from its data systems and uses the table as a dashboard for performance reporting to Boston Children’s Hospital senior leaders and international board of directors.