By Peter Cayan
Senior Director, Nutrition Specialists
In my last blog, I mentioned that national healthcare reform continues to drive less available dollars with a laser-focus emphasis on measureable quality patient outcomes. Healthcare nutrition and food professionals will continue to play out a balancing act of economic and satisfaction measures to help shape their organizations’ success or demise. This constant vigilance of the “levers and drivers” of performance metrics are underscored by the ever-changing national benchmarking indices.
These variables coupled with public visibility, value-based purchasing and C-suite scrutiny, position the foodservice executive with a plethora of information, data and KPIs from which to choose. It can, however, be difficult to define or select those metrics which truly define one’s performance and, more importantly, those which will assist with operational course correction if necessary.
The balancing act is defined in four operational arenas – each having their own proprietary ratios, measures, definitions and “MUST-HAVES.”
- Expense and revenue budget: Actual and budget performance that includes dollars and percentage variance for each period, year to date and prior year. The budget tool must have the ability to apply journal entries and restate or reconcile all line items throughout the year.
- Patient satisfaction: Mean scores and percentile rankings by peer group. Satisfaction indices must include minimum measures of food quality, food temperature and courtesy.
- Employee satisfaction: Mean scores and percentile rankings by peer group. It is imperative that the assessment tool has the ability to isolate scoring on an individual leader and/or a supervisory group. In addition, the tool must be able to measure work environment, benefits and leadership metrics. Lastly, the instrument must be confidential and in a format that is user friendly. Without the latter, all employee satisfaction measures will be irrelevant.
- Economic benchmarking: One could spend hours extrapolating dozens of meaningless ratios. The most effective economic performance indicators must include: X* cost per meal; X* net cost of cash per patient day or adjusted patient day; and productive hour worked per patient day or adjusted patient day. (*line items segregation of food, supplies and grand total)
In summary, today’s foodservice executives continue to face a balancing act of economic and satisfaction performance demands. Undoubtedly, those most successful have the keen ability to understand the key levers and drivers that lead to an acceptable and sustainable performance.
As one “data junkie” once told me, “the exceptional leaders are those who are able to differentiate causal relationships verses simple correlations.” Now, I think I’ll dig out my slide rule for a trip down memory lane…
Contact us to find out more about Intalere’s healthcare nutrition solutions.