Managing a medical practice is like running multiple businesses at once.
When not overseeing the productivity and efficiency of multiple departments – front desk, billing, payroll – a practice manager monitors the budget, mulling over the financial impacts of hiring decisions, technology investments and supply orders.
With so many concerns to account for, many practice managers adopt a stay-the-course method of business decision-making, relying only on basic reports and baseline stats for data on practice performance.
You may be comfortable resting on your laurels by using an unsophisticated reporting process, but doing so is unwise for your business’ bottom line.
Thomson Reuters found that the medical industry wastes $700 billion annually on avoidable, identifiable issues. These include administrative inefficiency, lack of coordination, unnecessary care and provider errors.
Some of that lost money came from your practice. The question is – how much?
To find out, you need to take your business decision-making process off of autopilot.
The only way to pinpoint wasted spending, or any other area of weakness, is to consistently monitor and track business performance data through a comprehensive business intelligence system.
Let’s Get Analytical
Business intelligence (BI) systems collect information on many different aspects of your business’ operations – patient demographics, charges, diagnoses, volume statistics and collections, among others – and organize the data for you.
The compounded BI findings are presented to the system user as analytics: charts, graphs and other visuals that thoroughly measure your data in various categories. The scope of the reporting generated is far greater than that of a manually compiled report.
Also, typical reporting usually only enables review of past performance, while analytics use provides you the capability to proactively forecast your practice’s future.
The ability to see ahead to potential outcomes, rather than just look backward, sets analytics apart from traditional monitoring.
Key Into Your Performance
Consistent, repeated use of analytics helps you delineate your key performance indicators (KPIs). These are the areas you deem most significant to the goals of your business.
What are the most important objectives for your practice? Whether you’re aiming to expand your patient base, reduce no-shows or increase collections, a BI system’s diagrams will enable you to monitor fluctuations in your KPIs and highlight areas for improvement.
The most impressive business intelligence systems integrate with practice management software, automatically extracting and analyzing the data housed in the technology. That means no data needs to be manually entered for the purpose of generating the analytics.
As vice president of market research at HIMSS Analytics, Marc Holland understood the transformative effect business intelligence software has on a practice.
“The ability to have a software agent in the background monitoring this kind of data and looking for patterns, and the ability to highlight to a human being what the software senses to be an unusual pattern, has tremendous value,” Holland said.
With so much money squandered yearly in the medical industry, it’s highly likely that if you’re not engaging in thorough, systematic data aggregation and assessment, you’re losing cash and don’t even know it. And though your practice is thriving, there’s no doubt room for improvement in at least one area of your performance.
Only when you fully know the strengths and weaknesses of your business can you make the best decisions. An investment in business intelligence goes a long way toward ensuring the continued efficiency and profitability of your practice.
Are you using a business intelligence system yet? How has it impacted your decision-making process?
Madelyn Young is a Content Writer for CareCloud and an expert on practice management, medical billing, HIPAA 5010, ICD-10 and revenue cycle management. You can read her work on Power Your Practice and the CareCloud Blog. Contact Madelyn with story suggestions, contributor articles, or any other feedback at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @madelyn_young.Tweet