Everyone Claims Analytics are Helpful; But How Can I Use Them?

In our last blog post we discussed the importance of using the right analytics tool for the job, and clarified the important roles of enterprise versus departmental analytics. Now that we understand they both play vital but separate roles in healthcare organizations, how will targeted analytics help my department become more efficient and yield higher quality outcomes?

As you know, private radiology groups are independent service businesses that provide reading services for a wide range of in-patient and outpatient customers. Hospital-based cardiology groups provide critical, high margin inpatient services for healthcare organizations. Both groups are facing reimbursement cuts and must comply with and manage new quality reporting requirements that will further affect reimbursement and profit margins. Additionally, since cardiology patients usually skew older and often are paid by Medicare or Medicaid, they create additional reimbursement challenges that further reduce margins.

An old adage is that you can’t manage what you can’t measure. In order to survive in the new order where reimbursements continue to shift from volume to value, quantifying the productivity, quality and financial measures is critical. Departmental analytics must be flexible and user-friendly enough to enable a wide range of constituents to understand and manage their department’s financial, operational and clinical performance. Beyond reporting on quantities of procedures, quality indicators such as radiation exposure, and efficiency measures like turnaround time,

Radiology groups also demand:

  • Registry reporting compliance;
  • Understanding costs and what controls them;
  • Identification of revenue drivers.

Cardiology departments further require systems to:

  • Monitor impact on patient readmissions and 90 day costs;
  • Track DME inventory and deduce margins;
  • Optimize resource utilization.

It’s essential to have a strategic plan for adopting and implementing such a platform. It’s important given that many stakeholders will benefit from using this type of analytics tool, and it requires integration with numerous IT systems to ensure access to useful data. That’s why it’s imperative early in the process to gather input from all affected constituents, recognizing questions the organization needs to answer, and identifying the IT systems to integrate. This effort also facilitates buy-in, to ensure successful technology adoption by those with a vested interest, so the analytics tools will address their needs.

In upcoming blog posts, we take a deeper dive into how private radiology groups and cardiology departments, along with their practice leadership, can benefit from real-time, self-service analytics.

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