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Managing People Is the Hardest Part of an Organization

Posted on February 18, 2016 I Written By

The following is a post by Vishal Gandhi, CEO of ClinicSpectrum as part of the Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts. Follow and engage with him on Twitter @ClinicSpectrum and @csvishal2222.
Vishal Gandhi
When managing a healthcare organization, the hardest part for most leaders is managing the people involved in the practice. This shouldn’t be a surprise since “getting the right people on the bus” has always been the challenge of any successful business. Making sure you hire the right people and then ensuring those people are working at maximum efficiency often determines the success of your organization.

While we can’t quite ask Siri to take care of managing our staff for us, technology solutions can help us better manage the process of hiring the right people and managing staff productivity.

Let’s first talk about the process most healthcare organizations use to hire and on-board new staff. The reality is that the majority don’t have a well defined process. Some well organized managers do have a consistent hiring and on-boarding process, but most are just trying to keep their head above water as they bring on new people. This inconsistency can lead to hiring the wrong person and possibly even major legal consequences.

By implementing an HR management solution like we created with HRMSpectrum, it forces your organization to put some structure into your hiring process. All applicants participate in the same application process. The system allows the applicant to schedule the interview themselves. It even supports telephone, video, or in-person interviews. Could you do this with a mix of spreadsheets and other technology? Absolutely, but it can get messy very quickly. However, regardless of what technology you use, spending the time to create a well defined process is enormously valuable.

Plus, a proper HR management solution supports not only the application and interview process, but also tracks the employee as they get on-boarded with the organization. This can include such features as document signing, employee training and evaluation, employee clocking and attendance management, and performance appraisals and incentives to name a few. All of this ensures consistency and uniformity in the hiring and on-boarding process.

Once you’ve hired the right people and on-boarded them into the organization, how do you ensure that your employees are working productively? In healthcare, we know how productive a doctor is being since we can see how many patients he has on his schedule. With a productivity solution like our ProductivitySpectrum you can easily track and manage the rest of your employees’ productivity. That includes things like benchmarking and performance analysis, but also includes important time clock functionality as well. Any productivity solution you use should also prevent time spent on non-productive web browsing and social interaction online.

There’s nothing more powerful in an organization than to reward your staff for the work they do. By tracking their productivity you can identify and reward high performing individuals in your organization. Yes, that also means you’re going to find lower performing individuals. However, by tracking productivity you have the hard data to illustrate and inspire a low performing individual to improve their performance. Performance evaluations based on data are better for everyone involved.

No doubt there’s a lot more to managing people in an organization than just using the right technology. However, technology can assist managers in both the hiring and productivity tracking process. It can provide uniformity and raw data to help a manager better manage their staff. What HR and productivity management solutions are you seeing and using in your organization? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

The Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts is sponsored by ClinicSpectrum, a leading provider of workflow automation solutions for healthcare. ClinicSpectrum offers a full HR hiring and on-boarding solution called HRMSpectrum. For managing staff productivity check out ClinicSpectrum’s ProductivitySpectrum solution. Connect with Clinic Spectrum on social media: @ClinicSpectrum or at Booth 1270 at HIMSS 2016..

Using Technology Outside the EHR to Make Your Organization More Efficient

Posted on February 9, 2016 I Written By

The following is a post by Vishal Gandhi, CEO of ClinicSpectrum as part of the Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts. Follow and engage with him on Twitter @ClinicSpectrum and @csvishal2222.
Vishal Gandhi
The complaints about EHR systems not making doctors more efficient and more broadly that technology should improve a practice and not make it worse are starting to really swell. All of these poorly designed and poorly implemented EHR are giving all healthcare technology a bad name and it shouldn’t.

Technology has improved so many businesses outside of healthcare and it can have the same impact inside healthcare. We just need more practices to stop focusing on government incentive money and government regulations so they can focus on meaningful (pun intended) technology which will actually improve the performance of their healthcare organization.

This requires a major shift in thinking for most healthcare organizations. Instead of evaluating technology based on its ability to receive government incentives, you now have to look at technology that will make your practice run more efficiently, increase your practice revenue, or improve the quality of care you provide. In many cases this means looking at technology that’s been benefiting other industries for years.

A great example of this is implementing a complete workflow management system. Document workflow management systems have been around for a long time, but so many areas of healthcare are missing out on the benefits. We’d like to think that an EHR would make us paperless, but that’s far from reality. That’s especially true on the medical billing and practice management side of healthcare. A well done workflow management software like we created with WorkflowSpectrum takes your current paper based processes and makes them more efficient and trackable.

With an electronic workflow solution a healthcare organization can quickly see how well their back end office processes are running. They can track how long it takes for a process to occur. This ensures your staff are held accountable for the work they’ve been asked to do. You can easily assign and re-assign tasks to people in your office without having the files get lost or misplaced in the process. Document management options like this have been available forever, but far too many have been distracted by EHR to implement these solutions. Plus, many practices have yet to realize that even small practices can afford workflow management solutions that will dramatically improve the efficiency of their practice. The cost of these systems has dropped dramatically over the years and they’re much easier to implement as well.

Another example of non-EHR technology that could benefit many healthcare organizations is a client support and electronic device management software package. We’ve created one that we call SupportSpectrum, but there are a number of other device management and support software programs out there. These software packages provide the most value when you’re required to manage multiple devices across a wide range of locations. If you’re involved in this, you know about the challenge of managing your electronic device inventory including warranty and contract management.

Thanks to ubiquitous internet, it’s now easy for even remote support staff to manage and support clients and electronic devices (including mobile devices) at a distance. That includes things like application, service, and hardware management. It also includes backup tracking, support ticket and issue management, application updating and much more. No doubt many organizations implement some sort of hodgepodge of software to tackle this problem. That works fine when you’re small, but gets quite cumbersome as you grow. A unified platform for support can provide many needed efficiencies and a much higher level of support.

The problem is that talking about many of these non-EHR technologies isn’t considered “sexy.” We can’t talk about the billions in government incentive money from implementing these technologies. We can’t use government penalties to drive fear in providers. However, what these non-EHR solutions do provide is efficiency and increased revenue for your healthcare organization.

Maybe I’m old school in this regard, but give me a well run, efficient, patient focused organization over some government program driven healthcare organization every day of the week.

The Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts is sponsored by ClinicSpectrum, a leading provider of workflow automation solutions for healthcare. ClinicSpectrum offers a client support module to help you better manage the support you provide your clients’ computer systems. ClinicSpectrum also offers a document workflow system to optimize your practice’s workflow processes. Connect with Clinic Spectrum on social media: @ClinicSpectrum or at Booth 1270 at HIMSS 2016.

ICD-10 Animation Training Videos

Posted on September 28, 2015 I Written By

The following is a post by Vishal Gandhi, CEO of ClinicSpectrum as part of the Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts. Follow and engage with him on Twitter @ClinicSpectrum and @csvishal2222.
Vishal Gandhi
Last month we wrote about the need to use more video animation in healthcare. As we’ve ventured into the video animation space, we’ve realized the power of a really well done video animation. In just a few minutes a video animation can educate someone on a complex concept in a fun and entertaining way.

In just a few short days healthcare is going to be hit by one of the biggest changes it has seen in a long time. If you’re like me, you’ve started to see many of your colleagues and friends on Facebook posting about not being prepared for ICD-10. Prepared or not, ICD-10 is coming on October 1st.

As part of the preparation for ICD-10, we’ve been working with a number of companies and providers to create ICD-10 video animation training. We’ve created some broad ICD-10 training videos like this video on ICD-10 implementation steps and highly focused training videos like this video on ICD-10 Codes for Acute Bronchitis. We’ve also created the top 20 ICD-10 codes for Pulmonary, Gastroenterology, Family/Internal Medicine, Podiatry, Cardiology, and Radiology.

When you start hearing your colleagues complaining about all the “funny” ICD-10 codes, you might want to share with them this video:

These videos have been a great way to educate people on ICD-10 in a fun and interesting way. Next up we’re working on videos that educate healthcare on our PQRS registry. PQRS is becoming more and more important in healthcare and many people still don’t understand it well. We believe these PQRS videos will help those working on PQRS.

Where would you like to see more video animations in healthcare? We’d love to hear your thoughts on where you think video animation could be effective.

The Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts is sponsored by ClinicSpectrum, a leading provider of workflow automation solutions for healthcare. ClinicSpectrum offers a video animation service that will take your healthcare education and marketing to the next level. Connect with Clinic Spectrum on social media: @ClinicSpectrum.

Why Aren’t We Using More Video Animations in Healthcare?

Posted on August 12, 2015 I Written By

The following is a post by Vishal Gandhi, CEO of ClinicSpectrum as part of the Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts. Follow and engage with him on Twitter @ClinicSpectrum and @csvishal2222.
Vishal Gandhi
In healthcare we have a bit of an obsession with paper. We have stacks of education sheets in our office or print these sheets from our EHR. That’s not a bad thing, but most of them aren’t well designed and are generally ignored by patients. The same is true in marketing. I get stacks of paper in my mailbox full of marketing material from various companies that basically get ignored. It’s so bad that we’ve created a term for it: junk mail.

Isn’t it time that healthcare start looking beyond the paper and start embracing better ways of engaging patients and staff in our education and marketing? All you need to do is look at the popularity of YouTube to know that videos are not only powerful, but popular.

Humor and video animations are a great way to really engage the patient. Plus, they take education to an entirely new level. When you think about the complex problems we deal with in healthcare, a compelling video is the most effective way to educate patients and staff. A short well designed video is a powerful way to simplify a complex problem. Plus, your patients and staff are more likely to remember a high quality video.

At ClinicSpectrum, we’ve been working to develop a video animation capability which supports healthcare’s need for more engaging and effective video content. We’re just getting started, but here’s a quick look at some of the types of videos we’ve created to further the goal of more engaging videos in healthcare:

Healthcare Education and Patient Engagement Videos
Creating a Healthy Diet Plan – A simple patient education video
ICD-10 Training Videos – A series of short videos to train healthcare on ICD-10
Medical Billing Training Videos – These short videos train on the billing rules for the internal medicine specialty

Company Marketing
OB GYN Practice Profile – A great video profile of the Healthy Woman OB GYN practice
Company Brand Building Videos – This video outlines ClinicSpectrum’s Revenue Cycle Management services
New Company Leader Introduction – A great way to introduce a new leader to your customers and feature your company

Conferences
Conference Introduction Profiles – Here’s an example of a speaker introduction at a conference

Of course, we’re just getting started with what’s possible with video in healthcare. Do you use great videos in your practice, hospital, or organization? Would you like to see videos created about certain topics? We’d love to hear your thoughts on where you’ve seen video to be effective in healthcare or where you think it would be effective.

The future of medicine is going beyond the 15 minute office visit and engaging the patients whenever and wherever they might be. Plus, training staff is an ongoing challenge. Video is a great way to quickly educate patients and staff on important topics in a unique and often fun way. It’s time we go beyond the paper and start engaging in a much more dynamic way.

The Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts is sponsored by ClinicSpectrum, a leading provider of workflow automation solutions for healthcare. ClinicSpectrum offers a video animation service that will take your healthcare education and marketing to the next level. Connect with Clinic Spectrum on social media: @ClinicSpectrum.

What Are You Doing to Monitor Your Claims?

Posted on June 18, 2015 I Written By

The following is an interview with Vishal Gandhi, CEO of ClinicSpectrum as part of the Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts. Follow and engage with him on Twitter @ClinicSpectrum and @csvishal2222.
Vishal Gandhi
As practices prepare for the rollout of ICD-10, we’re seeing practices and hospitals make investments in upgrades to their technology to be able to support ICD-10. They’re investing in ICD-10 training in order to be ready for ICD-10. Some are even spending time and resources dual coding to make sure they’re ready for the change. While each of these are important, it’s surprising to me that we don’t see more healthcare organizations budgeting for additional help in following up with insurance companies to make sure that claims are being processed.

From my experience across hundreds of healthcare organizations, I’ve found that 20-25% claims are stuck in cyberspace at any one time. I’m talking about claims that practices assume have been delivered to the insurance company and are being processed, but instead the insurance company never received them or the claim was missing something and has gotten stuck in the insurance company’s claim process.

How many practices have a process for ensuring that their claims are being processed efficiently and effectively? Not many. That means they aren’t getting paid in a timely manner and in some cases aren’t getting paid at all.

When we send off an email or SMS, we don’t really think about whether those things are delivered to the recipient or not. We trust that they’re going to get there without issue because they usually do. It seems we’ve applied that same confidence to claims and that’s a problem. We can’t trust that claims have actually been delivered appropriately and are being processed since there are so many ways that they can fall through the cracks.

On October 1, 2015 (assuming no delays), ICD-10 is going to make this problem even bigger. ICD-10 presents a tremendous opportunity for insurance companies to lose more of the claims you’ve submitted. If you’re not checking with the insurance company regularly, you’ll have no way of knowing if an insurance company’s switch to ICD-10 has caused a glitch in their claims processing or not. The insurance company won’t care because the practice or hospital will be the ones left holding the bag.

This problem can be solved pretty easily. Your practice just needs to randomly select 100 or so claims and call (or hire an outside company to call) each insurance company to get an update on the status of those claims and verify that the claim is being adjudicated. We suggest you do this about 10-20 days after the claim is filed.

By checking on these claims, you’ll pretty quickly see which insurance companies are processing claims effectively and which ones are having issues so you can address the problem(s). Plus, you can evaluate if there are any workflow issues on your end with the claims your submitting.

Especially as we start implementing ICD-10, but also today it’s extremely important to verify how well your claims are being processed. If you’re not doing so, you’re probably not getting all your claims paid in a timely manner and could be missing out on additional revenue for your practice.

The Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts is sponsored by ClinicSpectrum, a leading provider of workflow automation solutions for healthcare. ClinicSpectrum offers a Claims Watchdog service which monitors your claims for you to ensure you’re getting paid in a timely manner. Connect with Clinic Spectrum at HFMA ANI 2015 in Orlando, Booth #1256 or by tweeting @ClinicSpectrum.

Solving the Non-EHR Challenges Healthcare Faces

Posted on March 31, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

The following is an interview with Vishal Gandhi, CEO of ClinicSpectrum as part of the Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts. Follow and engage with him on Twitter @ClinicSpectrum and @csvishal2222.

As we head into the massive HIMSS healthcare IT conference in Chicago, I’ve been thinking a lot about the shift in healthcare technology that’s occurred over the past 5-10 years. When I first started attending HIMSS, I was all about the EHR company and what they had to offer. That trend continued on the back of $36 billion in government EHR incentive money. Now that EHR adoption is more mature, practices are becoming more and more interested in non-EHR technologies that can improve the way they work.

With that in mind, I took some time to sit down and talk with Vishal Gandhi, CEO of ClinicSpectrum to talk about their non-EHR solutions. Vishal and his team have been thinking about non-EHR technologies and pairing those with low cost human touch for a long time. For example, here’s a look at some of the challenges they’ve tackled:

  • Patient Collections
  • Physician Credentialing
  • IT Support
  • Medical Billing
  • Meaningful Patient Engagement
  • Staff Productivity

If your practice or company is facing any of these challenges, take a minute to watch my interview with Vishal to learn more about their unique approach to solving these challenges:

Also, if you don’t have time to watch the whole video interview, they’ve created this great graphic which illustrates the suite of challenges practices face today and solutions (click to see larger version of graphic):
ClinicSpectrum Healthcare IT Ecosystem

The Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts is sponsored by ClinicSpectrum, a leading provider of workflow automation solutions for healthcare. Check out their suite of hybrid workflow solutions on ClinicSpectrum.com or schedule a meeting with them at HIMSS Booth: 5427 by tweeting @ClinicSpectrum.

How Can Human Resource Technology Better Help You Manage Your Employees

Posted on March 3, 2015 I Written By

The following is a guest post by Vishal Gandhi, CEO of ClinicSpectrum as part of the Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts. Follow and engage with him on Twitter @ClinicSpectrum and @csvishal2222.
Vishal Gandhi
In healthcare we love to talk about ways we use technology with patients. We chart patient visits in the Electronic Medical Record. We schedule and bill patients and insurance companies from a Practice Management System. We interact with patients through a patient portal. All of these technologies can be great, but how come we don’t talk more about the way technology can improve how we run our practices and manage our employees?

One example of this is using technology to improve your HR. We see this in many other industries and at a few of the large hospital organizations, but for the most part healthcare hasn’t benefited from great HR practices that utilize technology. As healthcare organizations continue to consolidate, it’s going to be extremely important that every healthcare organization has a well designed human resource program to train, track, and retain key employees.

Let’s look at three areas you can use technology empowered HR practices to track, manage, and improve your human resource efforts:

Employee Growth Milestones
Are you creating a growth plan for your employees? Do you have a system that tracks that growth plan for your employees? If you don’t have either of these, then you’re missing out on a big opportunity. By setting growth milestones or goals for your employees you inspire them to be better and do more. Plus, employees love to know that there are opportunities to grow within your organization and a clear plan of how that growth can be achieved. However, along with setting these milestones, you also have to have a way to track how your employees are doing in their efforts to achieve these milestones. Otherwise, there’s no reason to set a growth milestone if you’re not going to evaluate it later.

Healthcare Human Resouce Management
While you could do this milestone tracking on paper or in a set of Word documents, we know what happens to those documents. They get filed away and forgotten. The better option is to use an employee management system which integrates these growth milestones into your employee’s performance milestones. Then, you can see how an employee’s performance corresponds to their growth milestones. Plus, with an integrated package, you can regularly be reminded of those growth milestones.

Employee Performance Milestone
Now that you’re setting growth milestones for your employees, let’s consider how you can track an employee’s performance. Doing so will encourage better performance and will provide you a way to reward those employees who are delivering great results and work with those employees who aren’t progressing towards their growth milestones.

A great example of this is with your medical billing staff. Using technology you can track the performance of that medical billing staff. How many insurance checks did they do? How many claims are they processing? How many collections phone calls did they complete? Each of these items illustrates how well that medical billing staff is performing their job’s duties. By integrating this tracking into your human resource management system, you have an objective way to evaluate and reward your employees.

Employee Benchmarking and Productivity
Now that your employees have a set of growth milestones and you have the ability to track their performance, you can effectively benchmark your staff and evaluate their productivity. Once again, while this can be done on paper, it’s much more effective and efficient with technology.

Benchmarking your employees against their peers is incredibly valuable because it helps a manager evaluate which employees might need more help and which employees deserve to be rewarded for their hard work. Without these benchmarks, we have to base our evaluations on how we feel and that can often be wrong.

A great human resource management software can facilitate an improved HR program for your employees. Doing so is extremely important to your organization so you can retain their key employees. Human resource management software gives the best employees a roadmap for how to be rewarded in regular performance evaluations. On the other hand, it also helps an organization evaluate their poorly performing employees so they can either help them improve or let them go. Healthcare organizations that choose not to utilize technology in their human resource management efforts are likely to lose their best employees as they fall behind their competitors. That’s a recipe for disaster in the competitive healthcare environment.

The Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts is sponsored by ClinicSpectrum, a leading provider of workflow automation solutions for healthcare. Check out their healthcare Human Resource management module, HRMSpectrum to help improve your HR management efforts.

4 Ways Your Practice Can Benefit from a Mix of Technology and Human Touch

Posted on January 13, 2015 I Written By

The following is a guest post by Vishal Gandhi, CEO of ClinicSpectrum as part of the Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts. Follow and engage with him on Twitter @ClinicSpectrum and @csvishal2222.
Vishal Gandhi
One of the biggest misnomers about an EHR implementation is that it will replace many of the human elements of your practice. While the EHR can replace some of the tasks and processes that were done by humans, the reality is that EHR software is most powerful when paired with human touch. This concept is infused into our Ideal Medical Practice Workflow whitepaper and should be infused into every clinical practice.

As we enter 2015, here’s a look at 4 more ways your practice can benefit from a mix of technology and human touch:

1. Rescheduling Patients
One of the biggest forms of lost revenue for a practice comes in not rescheduling patients who missed their appointment. While some of these missed appointments represent low quality patients, many missed appointments happen for a good reason and are an opportunity for more revenue for your practice. Unfortunately, most practices don’t consistently reach out to patients and reschedule their appointment. Along with providing additional revenue for your practice, this extra patient outreach is a great form of customer service that will be appreciated by many of your patients and shared with their friends. While some of the rescheduling can be done using technology like emails and text messages, nothing shows a patient you care about them more than a telephone call about a missed appointment.

2. Complete Eligibility Verification
I’ve written previously about the importance of complete eligibility verification and a quality eligibility verification team. While having the correct eligibility information is always important, I can’t stress how much more important eligibility verification is at the start of a new year. At the start of a new year, patients once again are working to meet their deductible and therefore have a higher patient pay amount. Plus, the new ACA insurance plans means many patients will start the new year off with a new insurance plan. If you don’t have a 100% consistent process for verifying a patient’s eligibility, then you’re office is likely working off of old information which will hamper your ability to collect the correct payment from the patient.

3. Referral Tracking
Not appropriately tracking referrals is a big issue in many practices that can easily be handled with a mix of technology and human follow up. Not tracking these referrals is a big clinical compliance issue for your practice that has the potential to lead to a lawsuit. Along with the potential legal liability, I believe having a dedicated team following up on these orders will become extremely important in the new world of value based reimbursement and ACOs. In this next generation of reimbursement, your payment will depend on your ability to ensure patient compliance with outside referrals.

4. Annual Well Visit Reminders
Annual Well visit reminders are another great way to increase high quality visits to your practice. Many practices convert a regular visit into an Annual Well visit. While this may seem convenient for the patient, it usually means you’re cutting the patient short in the care you could provide them. You just don’t have the time in a sick visit to do a thorough well visit exam as well. Even more important is reaching out to those patients you haven’t seen for a while. It’s incredibly valuable to have a dedicated person or team who identifies all of these patients and sends them a reminder or calls them about their annual well visit. Plus, these annual well visits are a great way to add to your bottom line.

As you look at each of these 4 ways to improve your practice, they all require the right mix of technology and human touch to be done properly. In a busy practice, that can often mean hiring more staff or outsourcing some of these processes to an outside company. Either way, the value created for your practice by implementing these small but important changes will easily offset any additional costs. Plus, you’ll have happier and healthier patients in the process.

The Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts is sponsored by ClinicSpectrum, a leading provider of workflow automation solutions for healthcare. You can download the Ideal Medical Practice Workflow whitepaper from ClinicSpectrum for FREE.

Finding the Ideal Practice Workflow

Posted on December 9, 2014 I Written By

The following is a guest post by Vishal Gandhi, CEO of ClinicSpectrum as part of the Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts. Follow and engage with him on Twitter @ClinicSpectrum and @csvishal2222.
Vishal Gandhi
We recently put together a whitepaper focused on what we consider the “Ideal Medical Practice Workflow.” After having worked with hundreds of medical practices we wanted a way to share our tried and true process for improving the efficiency and profitability of a medical practice. The whitepaper looks at 8 Key Steps to Maximize Reimbursement:

  1. The Effective Appointment Phone Call
  2. Thorough Eligibility Verification
  3. Patient Check-In/Out Process
  4. Pre-Physician Patient Engagement
  5. Do What You Do Best: See Patients!
  6. Consistent Claim Generation and Monthly Audit
  7. Monthly Cost Reduction Meeting
  8. Generate Clinical Reminders

The full whitepaper dives into each of these in detail, but as part of this series I wanted to take a deeper look at the final two: the Monthly Cost Reduction Meeting and Generating Clinical Reminders.

Monthly Cost Reduction Meeting
It’s amazing how many organizations don’t sit down regularly to assess the performance of their clinic. This simple monthly meeting should include your office manager and key physicians in your practice. Meeting together regularly to analyze your practice’s performance will help you reduce costs and improve revenue. It creates accountability and a scheduled time for this type of analysis.

At this monthly meeting, you should take a look at the key performance reports for your practice and how they trend over time. Next, you should analyze ways in which you can improve the performance of your practice. One solution might be utilizing technology to improve a process. Another solution might be outsourcing a process to a back office or external team member. Each month you can then evaluate the reports on how these process improvements have impacted your clinic and continue to adjust accordingly.

Generating Clinical Reminders
Creating a system of clinical reminders is one of the best ways to improve the performance of your practice. Your clinical reminders should start by focusing on these two key areas: identifying required patient visits and identifying patients for horizontal growth. Identifying these patients was a difficult task in the paper world that has been made so much easier in our new EHR world. Clinical reminders to these patients is a great way to increase visits to your clinic by previous patients, but this extra outreach is also a way to get your previous patients to refer new patients to your office.

Once these patients are identified, you can send them a clinical reminder using one of the following methods:

  • Patient Portal
  • Email
  • Automated Calls/Live Representative Calls
  • SMS

In our current healthcare system, these clinical reminders are about driving more patient visits to your practice. However, as healthcare continues to move into the new world of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and value based reimbursement, these clinical reminders are going to become even more important. Instead of messaging your patients about a visit, your clinical reminder team will be responsible for medication adherence and outside testing and referral compliance. Developing the clinical reminder skill now will pay big dividends going forward.

Any clinic who embraces the 8 Steps outlined in this whitepaper and implements a mix of technology and outsourcing will see a dramatic change in the performance of their practice. Plus, you will be well on your way to the Ideal Medical Practice Workflow.

The Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts is sponsored by ClinicSpectrum, a leading provider of workflow automation solutions for healthcare. You can download the Ideal Medical Practice Workflow whitepaper from ClinicSpectrum for FREE.

Building Accountability and Consistency Into Your Healthcare Practice

Posted on October 9, 2014 I Written By

The following is a guest post by Vishal Gandhi, CEO of ClinicSpectrum as part of the Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts. Follow and engage with him on Twitter @ClinicSpectrum and @csvishal2222.
Vishal Gandhi
One of the biggest challenges a leader in any organization faces is building accountability into their workflow. While we’d all like to think that we’re hiring great people that will always work at a high level, we all know that even the best people’s work improves when you build in some accountability for the work they do.

What I’ve found in the hundreds of practices I’ve seen is that the majority of people in a medical practice are working hard. Sure, there are the outliers that are just coasting through the day, watching the clock for when they can punch out, but we all can recognize and deal with those people pretty well. The harder challenge is those staff who are working really hard, but are busy working on the wrong things.

How do you make sure that someone in your practice is working on the right things? The simple answer is to track and report on the work that matters most in your office. In some cases, this report can be something as simple as a text message or email. In other cases, you might automate the reporting so that the accountability is built directly into the practice’s regular workflow.

Reporting and accountability is an extremely powerful concept for a practice. Not only does it ensure that the practice is working on the right things, but it improves productivity as well. Reports that are collected and checked regularly encourage your employees to work harder and be more productive. It’s just human nature for people to want to look good on a report. This is a powerful part of accountability and reporting.

However, let me offer a few words of caution when it comes to measuring, tracking, and reporting on productivity in your office. First, make sure that you’re clear with your staff on why these reports are important to the office. Second, be sure they understand that you’ll be working together with them to make sure that you’re tracking and reporting is accurate and focused on the right things. Accountability and reporting is a double edged sword. If you’re tracking the right things, it can lead to tremendous results. If you’re tracking the wrong things, it can lead to negative results. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to what you’re doing. Also, be generous with your staff and understanding when something doesn’t look or feel right. Dig into the data with them to find the real story before jumping to conclusions. Then, make corrections if necessary.

Be sure to leverage technology where it makes sense to automatically track and report the data that matters. Your goal should be to work with your staff to create a consistent and expected workflow that efficiently measures and reports on the key metrics for your organization. Not only will this consistency make your staff more efficient, but it will make it much easier when staff don’t show up to work due to some family emergency or the inevitable staff turnover.

When you create a practice that is process dependent instead of people dependent, it opens up all sorts of options and flexibility for your practice. This shift in mentality provides a buffer where a strategic sourcing partner can cover any “down time” your office may experience during staff emergencies or staff turnover. Plus, your ongoing tracking and reporting is the perfect way to hold this sourcing partner accountable for the work they do for your practice.

These measurements and reports also serve as a baseline benchmark for your practice going forward. As your staff turns over, you can easily assess the health of your practice and the quality of your future hires using these benchmarks. Plus, as you improve your clinic’s efficiency, you and your staff will be able to celebrate the success of beating previous benchmarks. In future posts, we’ll look at what benchmarks matter most and comparing your practice’s benchmarks against national benchmark data.

The Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series of blog posts is sponsored by ClinicSpectrum, a leading provider of workflow automation solutions for healthcare. Their Productivity Spectrum product provides a simple monitoring tool that provides time clock functionality, benchmarking and compliance, performance analysis, and productivity management for clinical practices. Stop by the ClinicSpectrum booth at MGMA (Booth 330) for more info.