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Quick Read:

  • We are making measurable progress on high-priority initiatives that are a part of our 90-day action plan and are pleased to share some key results to date.
  • In addition to and building on the 90-day action plan, the assessment phase for the broader Mission Forward initiative will wrap up in March.
  • We recently launched a new Mission Forward page on The Huddle where you can find the latest information about the work happening across our system.

Much has happened since our last update on Mission Forward, our systemwide initiative to ensure a future for UW Medicine that is financially stable, operationally efficient and promotes the well-being of our staff, faculty and trainees so we can continue providing high-quality, equitable patient care to our community. Our activity is expected to increase in the weeks ahead, so we wanted to share a few highlights of the progress to date and provide some reflections on work that is under way.


Mission Forward is a vital and important initiative. Our health system, like so many others in Washington and across the country, continues to face serious challenges related to staffing, capacity and financial performance. From July to December 2022, our three hospitals incurred losses of $143 million (excluding Federal Emergency Management Agency recovery funds). In addition, the financial forecast for the upcoming fiscal year (FY24) indicates another challenging year, putting pressure on our system and our teams as we head into a tough budget cycle.

Many of these challenges are exacerbated by our unique role in the state and region. UW Medicine has a mission to provide care for all people, including the most vulnerable and most complex patients. This is who we are, and it is why we love working here. Mission Forward is our opportunity to define how we can continue fulfilling this critical mission despite the challenges we face.

90-Day Action Plan Progress

In mid-December, as part of Mission Forward, we launched a 90-day action plan to bring structured focus to a select number of high-priority areas to accelerate cash flow and reduce costs. We established nearly a dozen work teams to focus on key areas such as improving the processes through which we get paid for the services we provide (hospital and physician revenue cycle management), optimization of our operating room and clinic schedules to improve patient access, and efforts to reduce our reliance on temporary staff.

We are now about halfway through that 90-day action plan and have started to see measurable progress toward our defined targets. Some key results include:

  • Since October, we’ve submitted more than $43 million in hospital claims that were waiting to be billed, accelerating our time to payment.
  • Reduced costs associated with our reliance on temporary positions by $7.4 million at Harborview and UW Medical Center in December and January due to reduced pricing and a reduced number of contract labor FTE.
  • Reduced a professional coding/billing backlog in General Internal Medicine by more than $2.1 million in gross charges since January.
  • As of Jan. 28, an additional 487 patient appointments were completed over baseline through optimized scheduling and referral management workflows.

While these improvements are encouraging, we are only getting started. Much work remains on both the 90-day action plan and our overall initiative.

Assessment Phase

In addition to and building on the 90-day action plan, the broader Mission Forward initiative will wrap up the assessment phase in March. Our consultant has identified many places we are doing well and other places where we have opportunities for improvement. An initial report covering the short-, mid-, and longer-term opportunities that have been identified during the assessment phase is in development, and we look forward to sharing the results with you in the coming weeks.

New Mission Forward Resource

To help everybody stay connected to the work happening across our system, we recently launched a Mission Forward page on The Huddle where you can find more information about the scope and phases of work involved, as well as resources such as FAQs, PowerPoint slides with progress updates and archived leadership messages. The page will be updated regularly and serve as our main hub for information. We encourage you to check out the site and direct your teams to these resources if they have questions or want to provide feedback.

Thank you for everything you continue to do in service of our mission and our patients. Your support of Mission Forward is helping us define a more sustainable future for UW Medicine so that we can continue caring for our community for years to come.


Timothy H. Dellit, MD
Interim CEO, UW Medicine
Interim Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and
Interim Dean of the School of Medicine,
University of Washington

Cynthia Dold
Interim President, UW Medicine Hospitals & Clinics
Interim Vice President for Medical Affairs,
University of Washington