Running a healthcare facility has never been more complex. As the infrastructure around insurance and reimbursements continually shift, all of the other needs of a medical center don’t subside. If anything, the challenges around supply chain management, personnel scheduling, and infection control are intensifying.

Some facilities might be tempted to look to outside partners who tout the availability of a ready-made solution to refine systems and streamline processes.

But that sort of one-size-fits-all approach misses a key step, according to the people who drive CareAdvantage, an innovative approach from the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies (JJMDC) that helps health systems realize better care by aligning the broad capabilities of JJMDC to health systems’ individual needs. The JJMDC team routinely aims to help hospitals and other healthcare institutions refine a myriad of practices, and they say there’s a clear and critical starting point.

“One of the things that we really are bringing into this approach first and foremost is listening,” says Diane Francis, senior director of health economics and market access at JJMDC.

When a facility opts to enlist CareAdvantage in their problem-solving efforts, the process begins with teams from JJMDC working with those on the front lines to determine exactly which problems are actually in need of fixing. That strategy may seem simple, but it’s a step that other companies often miss. And the approach stems directly from the earliest feedback provided by those healthcare facilities seeking help.

“Everything that we do is based on the feedback we get from health systems around the country,” says Chris DiMarco, director of innovation marketing and operational efficiency solutions at JJMDC. “The feedback we get is, ‘I don’t know what I need, but I know what my problems are. Come in and listen to my problems, and then let’s figure out what to do. Don’t just tell me what you have to offer.’ And that’s really where our approach starts: with the idea that solving starts with listening.”

(Image credit: Sergey Guneev/Sputnik via AP)

The intensive commitment to learning the ins and outs of partner institutions provides JJMDC with the ability to tailor offerings to suit individual needs. The team’s experience and healthcare expertise gives them an added insight that helps to make adjustments on the basis of regional peculiarities or tricky processes embedded in the organizational culture.

The consistency comes from the structured approach CareAdvantage uses to shape solutions. Although each implementation takes a slightly different shape, the intricacies of needs identification and care improvement implementation follow a perfected system.

And the individualized solutions can draw on lessons learned elsewhere. Francis notes specific success in taking that approach with the infection risk management program that JJMDC has brought to facilities such as the Medical University of South Carolina.

“With our infection risk management program, we have experience with hundreds of hospitals, and have already captured a lot of learning that we then bring to the table as work with new health system partners,” Francis says.

The metrics that are gathered with each new partnership give JJMDC an abundance of data to crunch, which in turn leads to identification and development of best practices informed by stress-tested knowledge.

And when a company is as wide-ranging as Johnson & Johnson — touching on nearly every part of a healthcare facility’s operations — the amount of accumulated knowledge they can draw upon is immense.

“The value that health systems see in working with the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies is the fact that we not only have a broad portfolio, but we have a broad footprint across the entire United States,” explains DiMarco. “So a lot of time the insights we’re able to bring are what’s happening in one region of the country compared with what’s happening in another region.”

That knowledge base also allows the CareAdvantage approach to help address needs related to supply chain optimization, procedural standardization, patient engagement, consumer marketing, and practically every other critical area where a healthcare facility may be feeling some strain, financial or operational. The message from the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies is consistent: If there are needs in play, they’re ready to listen and, more importantly able to offer capabilities to help.