Golf Professional vs. Hospital Executive – Narrowing the Margin of Error

Posted October 25, 2017 by Matt Ellis

It’s no secret that hospitals are continuously battling thin margins by working to put the correct partnerships, processes and systems in place to avoid the big misses. The players on the PGA Tour are constantly facing the same battles. Finding the right partners to help lower the margin of error each performance year is key.

When taking a closer look, golfers and hospital executives face comparable challenges.

Golfers Hospitals
Maintaining focus through a difficult round Dealing with a low patient census
Balancing the schedule of a Pro Athlete Balancing committee meetings and patients
Working through a round with a bad swing Dealing with an IT system malfunction
Playing great golf and getting beat Providing top care and not being paid in full

When these challenges arrive, do we have the best team/healthcare partner in place to narrow that margin of error?

The question hospitals and tour players continue to ask daily is, “Can I control my miss well enough to land in the best place possible for recovery?”

This year on the PGA tour, the difference between making it to the coveted Tour Championship or being outside the Top 30 was less than one shot all season. Those of us who are golfers know that there is always that one shot that haunts us. We’ve all stood up to a 12-inch putt, slapped at it only to see it hit the lip and miss. Then there was the time we three putted from 4 feet and just wanted to snap every club in our bag. The difference in the one shot mentioned above meant the opportunity to go on to the Tour Championship, play for a purse of $8.75 Million and a chance at winning the FedEx Cup finals for $10 million. At the end of the season, players ask their team for advice on how to improve to earn that spot in the Tour Championship.

Just like in the world of golf, hospitals constantly battle narrow margins of error. Just like golfers, hospitals are having to simplify things and get back to the basics when their performance is moving in the wrong direction. Getting back to the basics for a hospital means focusing on patient care and supporting the needs of their community. It also means identifying the right partners to support the key ancillary functions, in order to stay focused on the priority of great patient care.

Today, the average hospital has over 300+ vendor/partner relationships that they depend on to sustain the current healthcare environment. In a time of need, they should always be able to turn to their partners to ask for guidance to improve their margin of error.

Are your vendors actually real partners or are they merely vendors?

While the PGA professional does not have quite as many partnerships, they do have a team of people helping to narrow the margin of error. Whether it’s their agent who handles all of their business affairs, the team working on their equipment, their strength and conditioning coach who ensures their body will hold up, their nutritional coach watching their diet, or the caddie who is by their side 8 hours a day, these relationships are crucial to achieve the best possible outcome.

The professional golfer doesn’t just hire anyone to ensure their success. They look for the best specialist! This is the reason golfers always recognize their team/partners for their performance success.

Trusting my caddie at the Old Course to a round of 72

As a healthcare industry, there are many partners to choose from to ensure performance success. Each potential partner has their purpose and specialties. However, the most important thing about finding the right partner, is making sure that you trust they will lower your margin of error and will ensure exceptional performance success. The players on tour must trust their caddie to give them the right yardage number or advice on club selection, just like hospitals have to trust their partners to give them the best service, guidance and return-on-investment for success.

Some partnerships fail and others succeed. The ones that succeed maintain trust and integrity throughout the relationship. They continue to work together through tough misses to great success. If you get back to the basics and find the right partner for your golf game or your hospital, it will definitely help you narrow that margin of error.

So, the question is, do you have the right partners in place TODAY to narrow your margin of error?