Anyone that has ever tried to create and stay within a budget knows that it isn’t always easy. Imagine the scale of the budget for a healthcare organization with a lot of providers, medical specialties and a variety of locations that must be managed. Yet, we live in a society that requires quality for the dollars we spend, sometimes even the highest quality products or services at rock-bottom prices.
In the case of the healthcare industry, this demand isn’t just coming from patients but also from the federal government as part of the Affordable Care Act. How is it possible to make significant enough changes to enable both parts of this equation to be true? Managing risks is what it comes down to.
Obviously, it is easy for a layman to insist that changes be implemented in order to exact better care and lower costs. However, someone who works in the business, especially those that are in decision-making positions, might not know where to begin making changes. Cutting cost aren’t always as simple as finding a lower-cost item to replace a more expensive; that might affect the quality of care.
The necessity to find where waste could be happening, inefficiencies are prevalent, and clinical care costs are on the rise, are pointers showing where changes can begin to be applied. Uncovering these nuances isn’t usually apparent, especially without analytical data to bring it out of obscurity.
Healthcare organizations have turned to enterprise data warehouses (EDW) to help in identifying and truly harnessing the data they are already gathering. Data is being generated in a number of different areas and departments, such as administrative, clinical, financial and patient satisfaction.
When all information is collected together, it can then be compared to find variations, which is one of the indicators to waste or inefficiencies. Uncovering this sort of in-depth kind of discovery may not be possible without an unbiased and fully comprehensive ability that comes with an EDW.
Another important tool that healthcare providers have at their arsenal is Population Health Management (PHM). PHM is explained as working with preventative care measures to help large sections of a given population or community from becoming ill or more severely ill, all while reducing overall costs.
This requires a concerted effort by healthcare professionals to understand the needs of those they are serving and to work to slow or halt diseases and ailments effecting them. Again, identifying patterns within their given area, physician must rely upon data uncovering software, which points out key areas of focus.
An example of an organization that has implemented many strategies to specifically work to improve care and lower costs is Crystal Run Healthcare of New York. Crystal Run has worked to significantly reduce errors and waste, become more efficient and effective in treatment, and avoid delays in decision-making performance so as to be as timely and successful as possible. Their willingness to risk a new approach to managing healthcare has proven very worthwhile for the organization as a whole and for the patients and population they are working to help.
Providing high-quality healthcare is very much a modern standard that we’ve come to expect. The added benefit, and requirement, of receiving such care at very carefully sculptured cost is helping us all. Though this doesn’t come without the added insight of intellectual software, everyone is better served, no matter what side of the stethoscope you are on.