Delivering patient care must adapt to meet the changing healthcare landscape and streamline data analysis. Subsequently, there needs to be a new way to manage this environment that adapts and grows with the industry. Simply looking at productivity or budget information no longer provides enough of the insights needed to be successful.
Solvitix provides advanced web-based analytic solutions powered by ClicData. Our solutions not only provide insights into business operations but also provide automated guidance to our clients on tangible steps to take to optimize performance.
Incorporating our over 30 years of healthcare industry and performance improvement experience, Solvitix utilized ClicData to create a suite of advanced operational solutions to help Healthcare organizations Optimize Performance (OP). ClicData’s data connection, ETL, automation and data sharing capabilities have allowed us to easily be more efficient in delivering these solutions to customers. A key component to our delivery is that we not only look at historical operational performance but also analyze data for you and provide a Playbook of actions to take to Optimize Performance. Each month data is updated and analyzed allowing the monitoring of performance and the impact of past actions taken.
In addition, our solution provides a go-forward ‘Playbook’ or recommended management actions determined by a powerful analytic engine. Key information and recommended actions customized for each Executive and Manager are emailed directly to them. At any time, users may also log into our solutions and obtain additional detail through custom graphs, tables, and reports.
Our solutions monitor, manage, and proactively guide users to optimize input, process, and output. With an emphasis on Provider Optimization, we help identify where adjustments can be made to provider schedules and patient access thereby eliminating bottlenecks that may deter the delivery of care.
The health care industry has gone through phenomenal changes over the past decade. The impact of COVID has highlighted the pain points of an already overburdened healthcare system. Health care institutions and physician practices alike struggle to juggle higher patient volumes with constraints on resources and supplies. Operational protocols have gone out the window as the industry strives to meet the stress of new clinical volumes. So, with these demands, is a favorable bottom line even possible? Absolutely. Hospital and clinic operations still need to focus on operational performance to enable continued delivery of their underlying mission and quality care.
In the past, the industry has strived to continuously improve by monitoring budget variances, overall expense trends and other financial and quality indicators. Periodic Performance Improvement (PI) initiatives have become a thing of the past and have given way to a process where performance is continuously optimized based on the ever-changing environment. Reacting to this new paradigm could mean the difference between staying in business and providing quality patient care or having to close the doors to much-needed community services.
Data is coming at hospitals and clinics from all angles as they try to manage day-to-day activities. It is imperative that we exploit the information available to -organizations make informed decisions. How do we do this with so much data? Technology to the rescue. Without proven data-driven analysis, vast amounts of time will be wasted staring at spreadsheets trying to uncover actionable information. Using the ClicData platform, we’ve reduced the burden of staring at spreadsheets and looking for actionable information. By leveraging ClicData’s data connection, ETL and automation capabilities, along with proprietary rule sets, we can quickly communicate actionable steps for optimizing performance.
Where applicable, we need to be able to look to the future and anticipate challenges based on past and current trends. Utilizing advanced analytics, we can exploit predictive analytics to help with this process. It mines our data and uses predictive models and statistical techniques to analyze current and historical facts to make predictions about the future reliable and relevant.
Data: Use it or Lose it
Healthcare managers and executives are pulled in a multitude of directions, and most do not have the time to spend hours reviewing reports or exploring a dashboard tool to determine actions that need to be taken. Because of this, Dashboards and Business Intelligence reporting systems often go underutilized if used at all. This isn’t a new concept as Gartner’s #2 prediction in 2020 was the “Decline of the Dashboard” due to less than 30% use rates.
To take advantage of the vast amounts of data available to healthcare management teams, advanced analytic systems need to be in place that not only store data, create visual graphs and tables but also utilize advanced analytic to auto-generate recommendations (narrative analytics). Narrative analytics help interpret the data and provide insights that help guide users to action.
Operational Performance When looking at healthcare operations, things tend to boil down to three simple factors: input, process, and output.
Inputs: On the input side of the equation, the management of ambulatory and outpatient schedules along with hospital bed management are always prioritized. Exploring management options surrounding these input levers help us anticipate and manage throughput.
In some cases, we want to open the valves and maximize input while at other times, we may want to reduce the inputs due to staffing constraints or other environmental factors. Often, we explore maximizing inputs to specific service lines (e.g., Cardiology or Pediatrics) to positively impact the financial bottom line while attempting to deemphasize other less profitable lines of business.
Process: To manage the process portion of our business we rely on proven tools including budgeting systems to monitor revenues, expenses and tracking monthly variances. Productivity systems also help us optimize our labor resources through the ability to monitor the impact of volumes to determine if we are flexing our work force up or down. Unfortunately, the current labor environment requires a different management process to assure that best care is provided at the optimal cost. Labor typically accounts for approximately 60% of hospital costs (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) but the projected demand for the highest sector of nursing staff lags 34% behind the supply which creates a new set of management challenges. Things aren’t projected to get better as the healthcare labor market is expected to face shortages over the next five to 10 years as the U.S. continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Mercer’s “2021 External Healthcare Labor Market Analysis.”
The increasing caregiver shortage related to burnout, natural attrition, and strain related to the pandemic will need to be carefully addressed. Assuring that quality and efficiency are maintained has challenged hospital leaders to evaluate alternate nursing care models including team nursing. Team nursing, often used during nursing shortages, originated following a World War II nursing shortage. When nursing resources are limited, team nursing allows clinicians with varying skill levels to collaborate in providing patient-centered care.
More than ever, innovative management processes and tools are needed to help navigate through these challenging times. We need to continue to find new avenues to reduce the demand of direct client care hours, equipment, and supplies to make our staff more efficient without sacrificing quality.
Outputs: Lastly the Healthcare outputs often focus on profitability of organizational service lines, but other factors also come into play such as patient outcomes, quality of care provided, and staff satisfaction to name a few. The ability to monitor and assure management actions do not adversely impact quality of care is critical and preferably, to have a positive correlation to all ‘output’ indicators is the goal.
Staying current with our constantly changing environment is key but perhaps more importantly, is a proactive versus retroactive approach. Letting data and reports “age” on shelves or in email inboxes until it is useless tends to be a frequent and common practice. Our Operational Playbook analyzes the data, identifies correlations within the data and incorporates our healthcare knowledge base to provide recommended management actions. Each of the recommended actions are internally reviewed by our consultants and new knowledge base rules are continuously added to provide a “growing” knowledge base.
Ultimately, Solvitix’s Operational Playbook does more than provide analytics and dashboards. Playbooks analyze your data for you and provide summarized actional information to guide you on steps to take based on the automated analysis of your data.
Putting this playbook together would not have been possible without the advance capabilities offered by ClicData.
More about how ClicData can make a difference in the Healthcare sector in a soon to be published blog article.