American Surgical Association
Back to Scientific Program
Product Line Development: A Strategy For Clinical Success In Academic Centers
William D. Turnipseed, M.D. - University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

OBJECTIVE(S): Academic health care systems face aggressive external competition from regional providers and increasing financial stress as departments internally compete for patients and innovative technology.
METHODS: This study evaluates our experience with Product line development. Product lines are organizational structures which integrate specialty clinical services commonly provided by different departments. The goals of such organizations are to: coordinate specialty care, improve cost containment, establish accountability between physicians and administrators, and focus resource allocation to strategic clinical initiatives. Outcome measures include clinical volume change, institutional profitability and patient satisfaction.
RESULTS: In 2001, Cardiac Medicine, Cardiac Surgery and Peripheral Vascular Surgery were organized into the Heart and Vascular Care Product line. Over 5 years, collective patient volume increased 54%, patient satisfaction improved from 85% to 92%, and institutional percent margin increased from 2.8% to 8.1%. Since 2001, two additional product lines have been incorporated (Oncology, Pediatrics) with similar results.

Pre-Service Line' 00
Total Patient Volume23,54494,45268,727

Service Line
Total Patient Volume25,12296,22375,513
Total Patient Volume Change+6.7%+1.8%+5.5%
ACAD. GP. Percentile85%85%84%

’06 Service Line
Total Patient Volume36,263123,34289,437
*Total Patient Volume Change+54%+31%+30%
**ACAD. GP. Percentile92%95%92%
CONCLUSION: Product line development enhanced institutional market share in strategic areas. Improved patient satisfaction and institutional profitability. Increased institutional profitability resulted in greater capital reinvestment in the product lines.

Back to Scientific Program