Benchmarking our financial structure

May 31, 2012

Steven Stites, MD
Steven Stites, M.D. Acting Executive Vice Chancellor Acting Executive Dean, KU School of Medicine

Over the last year and a half, many of you have been involved in two different efficiency and planning efforts involving two different consulting firms. I'm about to add another consulting firm to the mix! First, though, I'm going to walk us all down memory lane, recapping the previous two efforts and explaining how the new one is different - and how each of these efforts is part of a greater whole.

Strategic Planning

  • Date started: December 2010
  • Consulting firm: TSI Consulting Partners, which specializes in "strategic effectiveness"
  • Area of concentration: KU Medical Center campus
  • Goal: To develop a strategic plan to chart our ambitious collective future. In an effort parallel and complimentary to strategic planning on the Lawrence campus, we wanted to identify our institutional priorities for the next five years and develop an implementation plan.
  • Status: The plan was finished in December 2011, and teams charged with making their goals a reality are charting their progress on our Strategic Planning website.

Changing for Excellence

  • Date started: April 2011
  • Consulting firm: Huron Consulting Group, which helps organizations improve performance, reduce costs, leverage technology, and stimulate growth (among other things)
  • Area of concentration: All University of Kansas campuses
  • Goal: Undertake an intensive review of how KU does business and identify ways the university can be more effective
  • Status: Huron consultants developed 11 "business cases" involving areas - primarily administrative - where our campuses could realize cost savings and efficiencies. Changing for Excellence is now in the implementation phase, with details and timelines posted on the KU Lawrence website.

Now I'd like to introduce our newest effort that involves consulting partners:

Benchmarking our financial structure

  • Date it will start: Summer 2012
  • Consulting firm: ECG Management Consultants, which works in the health care industry.
  • Area of concentration: Sources and uses of funds across all schools and missions
  • Goal: Provide us with a detailed analysis of our funds flow, benchmarked against national standards at other academic medical centers, to provide our next Executive Vice Chancellor with a detailed picture of our financial structure and how it compares with our peers across the country
  • Status: Representatives from ECG have already been working with our clinical departments to think about ways KUMC can better integrate the clinical enterprise with The University of Kansas Hospital, so they know us well. In the weeks ahead, ECG will gather information and meet with faculty and staff. Some of this will feel like the Huron process, but questions will be much more focused on an analysis of our extraordinarily complex flow of funds.

Each one of these efforts is separate, but they are all complementary. If you've been memorizing my five rules - and I hope you have, because there could be a quiz at any moment - you know that one of them is "Ask questions - seek answers." Each of these three projects seeks to find specific answers for a specific set of questions. Strategic planning asked us to think big, to articulate our number-one goal - "Provide leadership to shape the future of health and health care" - and then figure out steps to achieve that goal. Changing for Excellence asked us to re-evaluate the way we work, so that we can become more efficient to meet new challenges. Now, we'll ask ECG to help us ensure that our financial structure provides us with the right resources to continue our momentum in a changing health care landscape.

Asking these types of questions can be difficult and time-consuming, but we owe it to our next EVC - and to ourselves - to seek the answers.

The School of Medicine is beginning the re-accreditation process, culminating in a site visit by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in the fall of 2013. We will formally kick off the re-accreditation effort with a town hall meeting from noon-1 p.m. on Friday, June 15. Heidi Chumley, Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, will explain how we are preparing for the site visit, how people can help, and what to expect in the coming months. In Kansas City, the meeting will be in the Wahl Hall East Auditorium. The meeting will also be broadcast via ITV to the Wichita Room in Wichita and 116 Braddick in Salina.

The Faculty Assembly invites you to a town hall meeting on KUMC's transition to a new Executive Vice Chancellor. Attendees will hear from KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, KU Medical Center Interim Executive Vice Chancellor Steven Stites, EVC Search Committee Chair Edward Ellerbeck, and KUMC Faculty Assembly Chair Judith J. Warren. The meeting will be from noon-1 p.m. on June 29 at the Wahl Hall East Auditorium in Kansas City and via ITV in the Wichita Room in Wichita and 116 Braddick in Salina. Lunch will be served on a first come-first served basis.

The Department of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery is sponsoring a lecture by James B. Peake, M.D. Dr. Peak has served as U.S. Army Surgeon General and as Secretary of Veterans Affairs from 2007-2009. He will be presenting his lecture, "The Battlefield ... Good Medicine in Bad Places – An Evolution" on June 1, at 4 p.m. in room G013 in the KU School of Nursing.

Fourth-year School of Medicine students Lindsay Podhajsky and Jennifer Sturich-Cummins have been awarded Blue Cross Blue Shield Kansas City Family Medicine Scholarships. The scholarships are awarded to KU medical students who are pursuing a career in family medicine and are based on academic performance, clinical and leadership skills, and community service. Congratulations to Lindsay and Jennifer!

Kirmayer Fitness Center will be providing a free week of group exercise demo classes June 4-8. This is open to members and non-members. You can sign-up online.

Last modified: Jun 19, 2012