The Key to Solving Patient Throughput Efficiency: Process Visibility
// By Scott Opitz //
What’s the best way to improve a process? In complex organizations like health care systems with countless interdependent processes, tracing the root of a problem back to its source and fixing it may not be a straightforward proposition. What if there was an always-on technology solution running in the background helping to shed new light on what’s really going on?
Are you monitoring your throughput? Throughput is a core factor when it comes to bending the health care cost curve — whether by reducing readmissions, increasing access to care, or by driving better service quality. And for health care marketers and strategists, it’s an important metric that can help you leverage your data-driven services and identify how to better market and position your organization.
But it is also a metric than can be fraught with complications when we expand focus from a single specific service area to processes that span multiple service areas, which is increasingly common in the era of longitudinal patient care.
For example, consider the challenges posed by a process’ scope such as orderly and efficient patient flow, timely processing of a lab test, reading an X-ray, accurately processing a claim — or the performance of many hundreds of other processes executed thousands of times a day. Our challenge is further aggravated since in many of these examples the information (data) related to the execution of each step of each process may be stored across multiple different systems (EMR, LIS, RIS, PACS, ERP, etc.). Consequently, no central application can provide a comprehensive view of the process histories.
A new approach is needed that can deliver 100 percent process visibility for existing processes, one that visualizes how those myriad processes are executed across all patients, and all systems, and that maintains the nuance of execution details as a core analytics element. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it?