Improving Efficiency and Performance: Insights from Health Systems' Earnings Results and Airplane Boarding Methods

Ben H.

Hatched by Ben H.

Aug 27, 2023

3 min read


Improving Efficiency and Performance: Insights from Health Systems' Earnings Results and Airplane Boarding Methods


The healthcare industry, like many others, has faced significant challenges over the past year. However, recent first-quarter earnings results from health systems have shown promising trends and strategies for improving margins. At the same time, the seemingly chaotic process of boarding airplanes has been a topic of debate for years. By exploring these two seemingly unrelated topics, we can uncover valuable insights and actionable advice for enhancing efficiency and overall performance in various sectors.

Improving Margins: Lessons from Health Systems' Earnings Results

Health systems have been forced to take a hard stance on improving margins, leading them to examine every opportunity available. Investment-related losses in 2022 put a significant strain on earnings, but the first quarter of 2023 has seen a reversal of this trend. For instance, Cleveland Clinic reported a substantial increase in investment returns, contributing to a boost in operating margins. Mass General Brigham also experienced investment gains, leading to a significant increase in net income. These successes highlight the importance of carefully managing investments and adapting to market conditions.

Talent Pipelines and Employee Attraction:

To ensure the smooth operation of healthcare systems, building stronger talent pipelines has become a priority. Partnering with nursing schools and offering generous sign-on incentives have become common strategies. Kaiser Permanente, for example, witnessed a 15% growth in clinical hiring during the first quarter, thanks to its partnerships with nursing schools. Universal Health Services and UPMC also experienced increased patient volumes in acute care and behavioral health services. However, staffing shortages remain a challenge, hindering further growth. To address this issue, health systems must focus on innovative recruitment strategies and invest in training programs to attract and retain qualified professionals.

Key Insights from Airplane Boarding Methods:

The traditional airplane boarding method, where passengers board based on seat numbers, has proven to be inefficient. Various studies and simulations have shown that alternative methods can significantly reduce boarding time and enhance customer satisfaction. Southwest Airlines' method, which allows passengers to choose their own seats and board in groups, was found to be the fastest in a Mythbusters experiment. Another approach, suggested by physicist Jason Steffen, involves a choreographed sequence of boarding that eliminates aisle waiting entirely. This method, similar to the outside-in approach, prioritizes efficiency and streamlines the boarding process.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace data-driven decision-making: Health systems and airlines should utilize the wealth of data available to optimize operations. By analyzing trends, performance metrics, and customer feedback, organizations can make informed decisions that lead to improved outcomes.
  • 2. Invest in talent development: To address staffing shortages, health systems should establish partnerships with educational institutions and offer attractive incentives to attract skilled professionals. Additionally, investing in training programs can enhance employee satisfaction and retention.
  • 3. Rethink traditional processes: Organizations across industries should regularly evaluate their methods and explore alternatives. By challenging conventional practices and adopting innovative approaches, efficiency gains can be achieved.


Health systems' first-quarter earnings results and the inefficiency of traditional airplane boarding methods may seem unrelated at first glance. However, by examining these topics together, we can extract valuable insights and actionable advice for improving efficiency and performance across various sectors. Embracing data-driven decision-making, investing in talent development, and rethinking traditional processes are essential steps toward enhancing operational outcomes. By implementing these strategies, organizations can navigate challenges, drive growth, and deliver better experiences to their stakeholders.

Hatch New Ideas with Glasp AI 🐣

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)