At this time of year, 401(k) account management is a hot topic in the popular media, and we realized it offered a strong parallel to taking a fresh look at the vitality of your healthcare system.

Think about it: Managing a 401(k) account involves three essential practices. On a regular basis, you need to rebalance, reallocate and reinvest to receive the greatest potential benefit from the account. The same philosophy applies to managing a healthcare system in order to reduce risk and maximize productivity, efficiency and patient satisfaction throughout every facility in the system.

Let’s look at each element and how it benefits your healthcare investment.

1. Rebalance. In a 401(k), as different mutual funds, stocks and bonds gain and lose value over time, the account gets out of balance relative to your retirement strategy. In a healthcare system, the same thing can happen to your deployment of physicians and services as a local marketplace’s demographics and patient referral patterns shift. You need to analyze the current state of the marketplace and move physicians and specialties among your locations to keep the proper balance of services in alignment with patient needs and your goals for the organization.

2. Reallocate. Back to the 401(k) example — as you close in on retirement, you want to allocate fewer dollars to high-risk/high-reward investments and more dollars to income-stable investments. Likewise, as your healthcare system matures, your initial allocation strategy of physicians and specialties across locations is going to need adjustments to meet your changing strategy. You’ll most likely want to allocate more future physicians against specialty X rather than specialty Y.

3. Reinvest. In a 401(k), as your income changes, you can invest more funds toward retirement, ensuring that you’re able to achieve your retirement goals. Similarly for your healthcare system, as your revenue increases, you have an opportunity to ensure you’re optimizing your investment and your market potential by increasing your spend toward adequate staff, new physicians, and more or new specialties.

Accurately predicting where your markets’ demographics will lead in the short term and the long term is essential to your decision-making process through all three of these stages. Using our in-depth patient analytics, you’ll have the data that can richly inform your every step, from optimization of existing resources through projected visits and growth strategies.