The basic goal of any organization is efficiency. Efficiency is about doing things right, in the least amount of time, with the fewest resources.
It leads to enhanced workflow, timely solutions, and desired results. Simply put, it’s the Holy Grail of all businesses.
Every day your medical office collects and creates patient data for visits, claims, payments, and more. This data is then stored in your practice management and electronic health records systems where it can be analyzed to provide useful insights and support better decision-making. Here are four ways you can use data to help your practice's overall efficiency:
1. Improved Revenue Cycle Management
Data from your practice management and accounting systems can potentially improve your clinic’s financial health. For example, tracking and analyzing claims provides opportunities to collect insurance information, improve coding, expedite billing, and manage denials. It can also help your staff uncover trends in accounts receivables and better merge front- and back-office functions for timely reimbursement.
According to Peter Drucker, a leading authority in management thinking, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
2. Identification of Weaknesses in Workflows
Data can highlight problem areas to address in your workflows. For example, tracking appointment cancellations can help to determine whether your policies are working or need restructuring. Your staff can mine the data to determine which type of visits or patients cancel more appointments. How far in advance are these cancelled? Did patients receive confirmation of the appointment? Are the cancelled appointment slots typically filled by another patient? If cancelations typically result in unfilled appointments, perhaps your practice could implement a waiting list.
3. Benchmarking & Performance Evaluations
Use your data to set and measure your clinic’s goals to help you discover relevant key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs help track and evaluate your practice's performance over time. They can be clinical or operational.
A common complaint among patients is the time spent in the waiting room. Your practice could set the goal of reducing patient wait times by collecting data for the time between patient check-in and being taken to the exam room. Analysis of the data should establish the existing baseline and your target goal.
4. Growth Opportunities
Data holds the power to help you discover ways to potentially expand your services. Identify practice gaps to fill. For example, if you track appointments and notice a spike in reported cases of the flu, your practice can respond by sending a mass email suggesting that patients come in for a flu shot and exam. These small acts can help your clinic stay well-informed and current with trends in medicine.
Contact PCIS today to see how our products can help your clinic collect and analyze data to improve overall operational efficiency.