Hospital Manager’s Perspective to Achieving Operational Efficiency

The expert insights below were provided by Saad Khan, a health service manager for P3 Healthcare Solutions, based in Ontario, Calif.; he holds a Master’s Degree in the Health Sciences and enjoys expressing his views on the industry.

I am familiar with the three-pronged phrase, ‘patient-payer-provider’! This often makes me think, how I can play my part in it? Therefore, I try to express myself on the constantly updating rules and guidelines by CMS and any underlying problems in the system. Highlighting them just gives me the sense of goodwill and satisfaction. With the growing age, I want to look back in time and feel proud of what I did back then.

In this post, we are going to shed some light on the operational aspect of a hospital or a healthcare facility. It has become increasingly important after the new healthcare reforms launched by CMS to cut health costs, in general, and improve patient care quality. Operational efficiency of a healthcare facility becomes difficult when you have to achieve more objectives with fewer resources.

Government is focusing on improving healthcare via certified EHR technology (CEHRT), and every provider enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid needs to exhibit their meaningful use in 2018 and forthcoming years. EHR systems are expensive, but they provide evidence to CMS of the quality of treatment leading towards patient satisfaction. Moving on, MIPS becomes critical in 2017 for getting positive payment adjustments in 2019 on full compliance and avoiding penalties or failure to comply. The eligibility criteria save the inexperienced physicians from the ultimate test of MIPS.

Value-based reimbursement models have changed the whole outlook of the medical framework. Being quality-driven is a good thing as long as the payments are not cut. If providers will suffer deductions, it brings forth a new set of operational challenges. To meet those challenges, you must follow the instructions below.

Note – Keeping in view, the tight scrutiny mechanism and hovering spending cuts, the clinicians or hospital executives must come up with inventiveness and operational creativity.

Improving Patient Flow

It is the first step that can impact the whole system. It may be the start of that significant change you want in your hospital, and it is actionable. Making the flow of the patients better has consequences that can improve the operational efficiency of the healthcare facility.

You must decrease the time between a patient checking-in for treatment, turning into an in-patient decision and moving to a vacant hospital room or acute care. It must speed up because the entire hospital process is dependent on it. The quick, the patient is settled in, the earlier the treatment begins, and the more efficient a facility becomes.

Making a committee to attend to this matter on a consistent basis will help in overcoming this problem. It will also engrave and make it part of the hospital culture.

Setting up Thresholds will Help Achieve Goals

How can you ensure an efficient patient workflow and embed it into the system?

According to the experts, you should define measures and match those measures against specific benchmarks. It will set forth a competing environment among the employees to perform better from one another and may even be eligible for incentives as long as they keep fulfilling the objective.

Example –

As a hospital executive, you know it takes an hour to shift a patient into a well-prepared and neat room. You can ask the administration to track the employee’s performance against that benchmark and score him or her accordingly.

On a similar note, others can be evaluated against the time they take to clean the room or the time they make to assign a place.

  1. Automating the Processes

Advanced health facilities are already doing this. They are catering to the idea of organizational and operational efficiency through automation. As soon as a room is empty, the hospital administration comes to know about its availability for other patients.

In an average facility, a nurse manually enters this information into a computer system through a hospital management software. This computer system alerts the whole staff that the room is empty and janitors can go and clean it up for use.

At the moment, the patient vacates, the system receives a signal through real-time mapping technology showing the room as open. This way you can easily assign it to another patient.

  1. Making Use of the EHR system

To make things easier for the staff and the providers, keep the information such as patient history in a mutually known and shared location in the EHR system. The history may include all the allergies, test results, reported issues and following treatments. The non-tech savvy health practitioners” can stay clear of any IT issues. In simple words, they get what they want when they know where to look.

The EMRs were invented to make the healthcare industry more efficient.

Conclusion

Operational efficiency can turn your hospital or clinic into a profitable healthcare facility. The patient flow is just fixing one end of the system. Other ends are impending repair and most certainly need your undivided attention.

If you want to become the best care facility, you must provide care to the patients keeping the satisfaction level of your clinicians in check. By remembering the points mentioned above, you will undoubtedly achieve perfection & financial stability in light of the current value-based care models.

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