Private radiology groups and their leadership can reap significant benefits from using real-time, self-service analytics, as we examined in our last blog post. Those looking to improve the profitability, operational performance and clinical quality of other clinical specialties can also benefit from these tools. In this blog I would like to explore the opportunity to improve cardiology profitability from the perspective of the cardiology service leader; keeping in mind we are just scratching the surface.
Leading a cardiology department and its affiliated service lines has always been challenging and this is unlikely to change in the near term. Uncertainty around the ACA, Medicare and Medicaid retroactive reimbursement formula changes, increased competition from mergers and affiliations, and emerging value based payment models are just some of the issues keeping healthcare executives up at night.
I think we can all agree that the cardiology department is typically the highest margin department within a health system, but if you ask management to quickly identify the factors driving that profitability, the answer is likely to be a resounding “No”. This is a systemic problem.
Every cardiology service line leader needs the ability to monitor a site-specific mix of financial, operational and clinical data, in order to optimize human and material resources to maximize profit margins while delivering a high level of clinical care. Our clients tell us the following are critical areas they strive to understand:
- Emphasize activities that lower costs and improve quality.
- Empower the organization to understand the impact of non-invasive procedures on clinical outcomes.
- Ensure the department understands the financial impact of disposables.
- Insights into room occupancy rates, idle time and resource utilization.
- Implement tools that build trust across the organization, enabling the organization to quickly improve performance.
- Understand and reduce staff documentation requirements.
- Track and compare costs and outcomes of new devices being used in cath. labs.
Achieving these is not easy and takes time. It requires continuous access to in-depth details about the current state of the business. Unfortunately this is still out of reach of most organizations, even if they did just implement that trillion-dollar EMR or a data lake bigger than the Mediterranean. This is where real-time, self-service analytics comes in; to provide immediate feedback that bolster timely course corrections, organizational alignment and the requisite behavioral changes.
A solution like Foundations™ Cardiology allows all users to easily identify, monitor and understand important operational and financial trends using self-service dashboards, canned and customized reports, and real-time data mining. This information presents the cardiology service line leadership team the leg up it needs to stay ahead.
In our next blog post we’ll revisit the needs of the radiology group, from the radiologist’s perspective.