How Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare Keeps the Financial Heartbeat Strong

One health care organization turns to Paradigm Learning for some fiscal fitness

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Sept.20, 2011 — Paradigm Learning, a leader in business games, simulations and Discovery Maps®, today unveiled its latest business acumen case study, How to Keep the Financial Heartbeat Strong at Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare.

In the perpetual push-pull of today’s healthcare industry — which includes the competition between cost and quality — strong financial management is a critical issue. If a hospital cannot keep its doors open, it cannot serve its community.

Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare, an Illinois institution since 1926, recently decided to put a stethoscope to its financial management strategies when executives discovered most of its managers had medical backgrounds instead of business backgrounds. Managers didn’t realize how their front-line decisions could affect the bottom line, nor did they understand how to translate financial discussions at management meetings into future actions.

Elmhurst decided the best way for employees to gain this critical knowledge — to improve their business acumen — was to let them discover it for themselves. The organization assembled employees in a series of training sessions to participate in a simple-but-sophisticated business simulation called Zodiak®: The Game of Business Finance and Strategy.

In Zodiak, participants gather at a game board and run a fictitious company for three time-compressed years (actually, about three hours). With no financial background necessary, they can make decisions, deliver products and services, negotiate loans, purchase equipment and supplies, deal with unexpected events, and more. The experience allows learners to see firsthand what happens to the bottom line as a result of their decisions. Then, armed with fresh insights, they can apply the lessons to their daily workplace decisions.

The approach has worked, says Robert Blazek, director of human resources. One seemingly minor area — error correction — had a major impact once employees understood the actual costs of fixing a mistake. “If we have a wrong address on a bill, for example, and it’s returned, our payment is delayed and we lose the interest on that payment,” he says. “Multiply that over a year’s time, and it turns out to be a lot of money. Taking those actions and translating them was sort of the biggest `aha!’ for most of the people in the group.”

Click here to download the Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare case study, How to Keep the Financial Heartbeat Strong at Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare. For more information about Zodiak, visit us at Paradigm or call 727-471-3170.

About Paradigm Learning

Paradigm Learning is a leader in learning innovation, offering unique education and communication programs to organizations around the world. Its award-winning, classroom-based business games, simulations and Discovery Maps®, enhanced with online options, customizing and consulting services, have been used by leading companies since 1994. Paradigm Learning’s core methodology is discovery learning, a powerful educational approach that engages employees, accelerates learning and increases retention.

Fully customized programs and tailored off-the-shelf programs are available in areas such as business acumen, talent leadership, employee alignment, leadership accountability, team building, project management, organizational change and change management. The company’s flagship business acumen training program, Zodiak®: The Game of Business Finance and Strategy, has been conducted with more than one million managers and employees worldwide.

This press release was distributed through PR Web by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: on behalf of the company listed above.