Case Study

Upskilling virtually:

How one healthcare organization transformed its business simulation


Client need

Over the past decade, a not-forprofit integrated health delivery system partnered with BTS to design and deliver customized business simulations to help its leaders excel in healthcare services.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, BTS partnered with the organization to both modernize and virtualize their existing customized business simulation to meet the needs of the current healthcare environment. The goal of the simulation was to develop the organization’s leaders, equipping them with the essential skills for driving critical innovation and change.

The solution

To begin, BTS conducted in-depth interviews and organizational research to understand the company’s present and future strategy, business environment, and most critical “levers” for driving change. These insights were then leveraged to update the simulation content, as well as transform the program from its original paper-based format to a digitally enabled, computer-based experience. This virtualization upgraded the user experience, enabling more strategic discussion and teaching, and also improved application and results.

This simulation allowed the organizations’ leaders to:

  • Practice making trade-off decisions on key investments, and discover each decision’s effects on the entire business.
  • Learn to analyze financial statements in order to make propitious leadership decisions.
  • Determine how to improve the organization’s profitability, while still supporting its mission.

“I liked the discussion this engagement fostered — definitely a great way to learn and hear how others are thinking across the system. I realize I need to spend more time with our finance team to understand the more granular level of the finance data. Thank you so much! I had a great time.”

Program experience

The simulation comprised of three rounds experienced over a three day program. Each round had a theme with distinct learning points, outlined at right, creating a risk-free, engaging, and fun way to achieve the learning objectives.

The first round focused on understanding the enterprise from top to bottom:

  • Growing the top line by managing membership through a mixture of affordability and service experience.
  • Improving Quality of Care through improved processes across care settings.
  • Attracting and retaining talent through opportunity for growth and education.

“This team is awesome, and I enjoyed experiencing it. Probably the most fun virtual experience I have had in the last year. Very organized, very efficient, and on-time. I hope we can find other ways to utilize similar experiences within the system. Great work!”

The second round focused on managing the system to optimize patient and employee experience:

  • Maintaining a focus on our mission and balancing decisions to improve margins.
  • Investing in and leveraging resources and excellence to drive outcomes.
  • Investing in the workforce to drive employee engagement and patient satisfaction.

The third round involved creating momentum for a sustainable business:

  • Capturing growth by responding to an evolving market and new partnerships.
  • Investing to meet the patient needs of the future while managing total cost of care.

To date, 70 participants have gone through the 2021 program.

“I have so much appreciation for the BTS consultants that lead this simulation update. They were a great support moving the content forward and into a productive and impactful session. They also kept us informed and built a high level of trust, which was very supportive in this environment [COVID]. During the session, they provided energy and credibility, which was exactly what the team needed. Overall, it was an excellent pivot to virtual and important session for our learning executives. Thank you to the entire BTS team for making this simulation and experience come alive!” – Director of Global Leadership and Change


The health system determined the customized business simulation to be an incredible success. The feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive, and the program has a bright
future, with many new cohorts of participants planning to join next year.

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