Clinical Infrastructure Planning Guide

Identifying technology, facility, and medical staff needs to support service line growth

By reading this guide, members will learn how to:

  • Identify key infrastructure needs
  • Grow service line share
  • Avoid potential obstacles to growth
  • Identify rate-limiting gaps that surround many opportunities


Executive Summary

Identify key infrastructure needs to accelerate growth

As hospitals face an increasingly competitive environment due to industry consolidation, new sources of competition, and more discerning purchasers, finding new avenues for growth will be paramount. When determining where to grow, planners must not only evaluate the scope of existing services, but also identify opportunities to expand into new areas of specialty care.

In pursuit of growth, many hospitals have invested in expensive clinical resources—oftentimes technology—without considering the infrastructure needed to support these services. For example, a hospital may invest in a da Vinci robot but overlook the need for a dedicated operating room and specifically trained support staff to optimize these procedures. Failure to consider the full range of requisite resources can result in underutilized services and poor performance.

This resource guide identifies top growth opportunities within each major service line and outlines the accompanying clinical infrastructure—including medical staff, technology, and facilities—required to support program expansion.

Two ways to grow service line share

While growth has historically been fueled by rising demand for high-margin procedures and inadequate mechanisms to control utilization, accountable payment models and greater payer sensitivity—among other forces—have tempered the future growth outlook.

In the current environment, hospital and health system leaders face a zero sum game in which they must gain market share through competitive differentiation. From a service line perspective, there are two main channels for securing growth. 

First, organizations must fill gaps in existing services and improve care delivery across the continuum in order to gain share. Second, they must selectively identify new program development opportunities in less well-known specialty services facing latent demand.

In both instances, organizations must determine the appropriate level and array of clinical technologies, facilities, and specialists to deliver high-quality care across the continuum.

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