Surgical robots, data-predictive prevention, and intelligent automation – where AI supplements a diagnostician’s ability to reach the right conclusion faster – are coming, and they promise to make healthcare organizations work better, smarter, and less expensively. A future like this is exciting, to say the least, but we’re not all there yet.
Until we are, there are practical and incremental ways to work better, smarter and less expensively now. And for members of the healthcare community, working in an increasingly complex field crowded with a multi-layered blend of payers, providers, patients, and government oversight, performance improvement measures like these deliver more bang for the buck than any surgical robot ever could.
Here are two ways to drive organizational and operational excellence today, and future-proof your healthcare organization for tomorrow.
1. Use Your Data in Big Ways Now
Most healthcare organizations are merely scratching the surface of Big Data’s potential. While we continue to explore its true potential, there are real opportunities to be smarter about how we use the data we already have to make marked improvements in patient care and physician satisfaction.
The average U.S. doctor spends 16.6 percent of his or her working hours on non-patient-related paperwork, time that might otherwise be spent caring for patients. And the more time doctors spend on such administrative tasks, the unhappier they are about having chosen medicine as a career.
We applied some innovative thinking for one major hospital system to remedy these ills, developing a system that easily transfers patient records between locations. It decreased duplicative administrative efforts, and helped doctors provide higher quality care informed by a full medical history. The patients also reported higher levels of satisfaction and confidence in their care.
Why? Well, in our work we’ve found that the most innovative hospitals are also usually the happiest and friendliest. And no matter the industry, happy and friendly workplaces provide better customer – or patient – experiences.
2. Get Ready for Measurement Standardization
Today, a typical health system accepts patients from dozens of payers, including multiple commercial plans, Medicare, and Medicaid. Each of these payers has its own measures for evaluating performance. In the public sector, there are more than 500 different state and regional quality measures, only 20 percent of which were used by more than one program. Private insurers add their own unique evaluation measures to the mix, amounting to more than 550 additional performance measures.
Not only does measure proliferation lead to “measurement fatigue,” it’s also a source of enormous inefficiency. The industry needs a more simplified, streamlined approach to measurement, and some experts predict that better alignment between public and private sector measures are coming.
In the meantime, smart healthcare organizations are starting from within. They are standardizing their own reporting requirements and measurement standards. And they’re using the outputs to inform an overarching set of KPIs. Governing bodies might not yet be ready to roll-out public/private measurement standardization, but doing it yourself will not only drive immediate value, but leave you better prepared when those industry standards do hit.
To learn more about future-proofing your organization through performance improvement, download our latest white paper here.