Analytics for Medical Practice Managers

Medical practice managers perform a bewildering array of tasks in medical practices (whether offices or large hospitals), from HR, to office resources, to patient management, to quality improvement, to billing, just to name a few. They are the heroes behind the scenes, ensuring care is provided and received well.

From an analytics perspective, these complex tasks could potentially be broken into 3 categories, namely, FunctionsPersonnelWorkflow. These 3 areas all can be modeled using data, and can thus be optimized through analytics techniques and processes.

This is the first of a series of medical practice analytics posts I’ll be writing. Please SUBSCRIBE to not miss future posts.

1. Functions

Patient care/safety
Medical practices exist to provide care to patients, in a safe manner. From consultations to vaccinations to giving prescriptions etc, these activities all can be measured, thus can be monitored and improved upon for various purposes.

A business
Medical offices are also businesses. They earn revenue for the care provided and incur expenses in the process, but ultimately have to make a profit to exist. The complexities surrounding dealing with payers, for the variety of services and products and with paying for salaries, supplies, insurance etc, is an area where analytics plays a big role.

Health information systems
As a practice manager, you will deal with a range of software, including Electronic Health Information systems, billing systems, patient information verification system, all of which has to do with pushing of information. These are also sources of data for your analyses.

Part of the wider health system
A medical practice has to interact with the wider health system, whether with payers for contracts, or referrals to other doctors/hospitals or submitting public health information. These may be the manager’s job.

2. Personnel

Doctors/Nurses
These folks are critical to a medical practice. They provide the care, earn the revenue, enter information into EHRs, but also project the image and brand of the practice. You want to make sure these are well trained, managed and incentivized to perform.

Administrative
Administrative staff ensure the logistic tasks are done right and on time, such as scheduling, intake, follow ups.

Billing/Coder
These folks make sure the bills are submitted on time, with the appropriate level of information. You want to bill as much as medical appropriate and justified. Don’t leave money on the table, but also don’t over bill (it’s illegal).

Practice managers/Analysts

The ability to find actionable insights from data makes a practice manager much more effective and indispensable.

3. Workflow

Appointment
Without patients, medical practices don’t exist. The workflow of medical practices begin with appointments. To ensure a steady stream of patient flow, peaks and troughs of patient flow must be monitored and doctor work schedules accordingly arranged. Marketing and expansion strategies also arise from such analyses.

Patient care
After the appointment is made, patients showing up is the next step in the workflow. Here, no shows, wait times, consultation times, the physical environment, physician skill/attitude all impact patient experience. You also need to ensure doctors are documenting the care episode fully.

Follow up/Referrals
After the visit, there may be referrals or follows ups that need to be timely coordinated. These have direct impact on patient care, but also impact revenue (leakage of revenue out of network), quality of care measures (e.g. parts of HEDIS).
 
The above is a very condense narrative of medical practice, from an analytics perspective. All these aspects of medical practice management can be analyzed and optimized. Stay tuned for future posts on analytics for medical practice management. SUBSCRIBE HERE.

Stay curious, stay safe. Thanks for reading.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s