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Data-Driven Improvement: 6 Steps to Succeed in 2024

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Data-driven improvement

In the ever-evolving healthcare landscape, 2024 has brought about a pivotal shift in how physicians manage their practices. With an increasing emphasis on efficiency, patient satisfaction, and outcome-based performance, technology has become an indispensable tool in realizing these goals. 

We delve into the strategic utilization of technology to harness the wealth of available data, aiming to optimize Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in your medical practice. We explore advancements and discuss how integrating these innovations streamlines your workflow and enhances patient care and operational effectiveness. 

By prioritizing data-driven strategies, we'll guide you through the process of transforming your practice into a more agile, patient-centered, and financially sound facility in the dynamic world of modern healthcare.


6 Steps for 2024 Data-Driven Improvement Success

With the fluid state of technology available for administrative tasks, staff need to be up-to-date with their knowledge of what’s available and what will work best for your medical practice. Therefore, focusing on specific data segments is crucial to maintaining momentum and optimizing the patient’s care journey. 

As the year progresses, keep the following six steps in mind:

  1. Identify Key KPIs
  2. Identify Data Sources
  3. Prioritize Accountability
  4. Make Training Accessible
  5. Ensure Data Accessibility is Top of Mind
  6. Implement the Right Tools


1. Identify Key KPIs

With data, understanding what your goals are is the first step to being able to optimize data-driven decisions. The identification of key KPIs and the information gathering that goes with them sets the foundation for stronger data use. 

The following are only a few of the possible KPIs to focus on: iStock-1056799938

  • Patient Satisfaction: Factors like patient-to-staff ratios, wait times, and the number of patients who book follow-up appointments can have a direct impact on medical practice revenue. Keeping track of this data, along with the total number of patients year-over-year and the number of website visitors that convert into patients helps determine success in this respect. If things aren’t adding up the way you would like, reviews on Google Business can help show gaps in patient satisfaction. Sending surveys directly to patients can also be helpful, although return rates on these can be a challenge. 

  • Denial rates: Claims denial rates are the situations where insurance providers opt to forgo paying for patient care. Keeping the claims-denial rate low (ideally under 5%) shows your medical practice prioritizes patient care over paperwork. The claims-denial rate is determined through the following equation: Claims-Denial Rate (%) = (Number of Denied Claims / Total Number of Claims) * 100.

  • Visit Volume by Specialty: Understanding the medical practice area that brings in the most patients can help determine if the correct balance is in play. If not, marketing efforts or retention efforts can be ramped up accordingly. 

  • Provider Productivity: Understanding the areas of the medical practice that are most productive shows where new processes might be required. 

  • Patient Acquisition/Retention: Monitoring the numbers of patients acquired and those retained throughout the year can show where attention is needed. 


2. Identify Data Sources 

Data on the success of the medical practice is available across numerous channels. Gathering this data into one location and providing access to all of those who participate in providing patient care helps streamline efforts to improve the patient’s care journey (and also the practice’s retention rates). 

While the amount of data found in each location varies, the data quality is key to the ongoing efforts to evaluate practice success and adjust where and when the data improvement process becomes necessary. 

The following are all valuable sources of data for the evaluation of your medical practice: 

  • Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) information

  • Electronic Medical Records (EMR)

  • Call volume (incoming calls, day/time, answer rate, etc.)

  • Website traffic and behavior

  • Online listings

  • Google Analytics

When considering information related to online listings, it is important to evaluate data, determine what is qualitative and what is quantitative, and make note of:

  • Reviews and ratings

  • Presence in search results

  • Calls and website clicks

3. Prioritize Accountability

Utilizing data is only one step in creating a strong momentum based on data usage. It is also a smart move to make data-driven decision-making part of the culture. 

Utilizing the data means predicting issues and addressing them before they have a significant impact. In that regard, it is also important to prioritize leadership knowledge and have one person who is the primary overseer for the data-gathering process. Likewise, involving the staff and making sure there is complete transparency regarding data gathering and use allows the data to take top priority. 

Communicate findings with all stakeholders, making sure to highlight areas of strength and focused areas for improvement. This also creates another layer of accountability and keeps efforts flowing to utilize and improve data gathering.


4. Make Training Accessible

iStock-1474723816In a lot of work environments, training for data access and evaluation is something that needs prioritization. To make significant strides in utilizing this valuable resource, it is important to prioritize training and make it accessible to staff at all levels. 

Working with a Management Service Organization (MSO) provides the ability to provide effective training without sidelining staff members who are needed for patient care. The MSO staff can prioritize staff training to keep everyone on the same page while the administration can focus on the next step in creating processes to optimize data use. MSOs have expertise in numerous other areas as well, including: 

  • Billing

  • Marketing

  • Operations

It is also key to understand who will make data improvement a priority. This means evaluating what can be tracked and who will do it, as well as putting plans in place to continue to improve the data collection process. 


5. Ensure Data Accessibility is Top of Mind

Accessible data across the medical practice makes streamlining marketing efforts easier. One place to start is by encouraging data sharing between departments, specialists, etc. This allows for the removal of duplicate contacts or leads and improves data accuracy. Investigation of market trends, seasonality related to lead generation, and practice-specific information can all be utilized to help meet quarterly and annual goals. 

Leverage those within the organization with the right knowledge and mindset to help facilitate the accessibility efforts. This not only puts someone who can provide access to those who need it, but it also helps model the right approach to changes in data gathering and organization efforts.


6. Implement the Right Tools

Using the right tools streamlines the process for staff and helps reduce time spent tracking down information. The increasing popularity of healthcare performance dashboards has many medical practices avoiding issues with data input. They are easy to use, very interactive, and provide that all-in-one location efficiency that can be hard to achieve otherwise. 

Using reliable software like a CRM can streamline the referral process. It also can provide a communication method for easier interaction with both patients and colleagues. One of these is Constant Contact, which offers a variety of tools that can be customized to fit the needs of your medical practice. 


Data-Driven Improvements Lead to Success

The right partnerships, the right technology and software, and the right KPI focus will mean a lot of forward momentum for your medical practice as the year progresses. Knowing the sources of data points and providing accessibility practice-wide will also help streamline efforts to improve marketing and increase patient retention. 

Start the Data Conversation with 99MGMT Today

Having an outside resource to help guide your data-driven improvements can be beneficial. If you still have questions about data improvements or medical practice consulting, reach out to 99MGMT today. 

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