4 Models for Structuring a Service Line

There are four basic models for service line organization and structure, and they fall along a continuum in regard to implementation difficulty and ability to affect change, according to a whitepaper from New Heights Group.




The four models are:

1. Service line marketing. The service line marketing model focuses simply on developing and implementing marketing strategies to grow a service line. It is the structure most used in the 1990s but is today still used by some health systems. The lack of a direct link to operations limits the ability of this model to make changes needed for future positioning.  

2. Service line leadership. This model is most common today. Under this model, a service line leader oversees service line strategy and development, but has a limited ability to control improvements in cost and quality.

3. Service line management.
Under this model, the service line manager oversees growth, cost management and quality. "This model shifts the traditional (and comfortable) reporting relationships common in healthcare settings — nurse reports up to nurse, rehab to rehab, etc. These staff may now find themselves reporting to a service line manager who may or may not have the same clinical background," write the authors.

4. Service line organization.
Service line organization is a model whereby the entire organization is organized around service lines. "Under this model, senior leadership is responsible for leading service lines, not just facilities and departments," write the authors.

More Articles on Service Line Models:

A Model of Physician Leadership in Key Service Lines
A Vision for Present, Future Orthopedic Service Line Success

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