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Un-complicating Healthcare IT

3 Vital KPIs For Healthcare IT Directors

Apr 20, 2016 11:30:00 AM Posted by Jim Green | Senior Healthcare IT Consultant

Effective KPIs ensure that your hospital IT system provides more than break-fix solutions.Do you find that there’s not enough time in your workday to be strategic? As a healthcare IT director, are you simply putting out fires?

If this sounds familiar, it’s important to place a stronger focus on key performance indicators as a way of breaking free from the unproductive pattern of break-fix solutions. Without KPIs, many hospital IT directors find themselves operating in an exclusively reactive manner, when you should really be playing a more strategic role within the organization.

It’s time to adopt a more proactive approach to IT system management. Keep an eye on the following three metrics in order to set expectations, identify advancement toward your goals and measure your success.

Increased Physician Satisfaction

Often, physicians are extremely unhappy with their IT systems, but it may be challenging for them to pinpoint exactly what needs to be remedied. You probably receive feedback like:

The system is slow.

The system is down a lot.

The system is difficult to use.

The system isn’t reliable.

The system hinders me from treating my patients.

While these are all valid complaints, many hospital IT directorshospital IT directors have difficulty translating these issues into actionable objectives and tasks. Some example goals to set for yourself and your IT team include:

  • Improving system uptime
  • Improving system response time
  • Improving training for physicians using the system
  • Making particular enhancements based on physician requests

Make your tasks as specific as possible to address these important factors that are impacting physician satisfaction.

Maximized Profitability

For an organization to be healthy, there must be a heavy emphasis on running operations at maximum profitability. Most hospitals expect a major return on their investment in an IT system. As the IT director, you’re responsible for ensuring that ROI is delivered.

When you’re developing your profitability-based metrics, there is always one major area that impacts revenue: physician time.

The expectation for healthcare IT systems is that they should streamline the treatment process. You want your systems to enable physicians and nurses to treat as many patients as possible throughout the day. Physician and nurse productivity has a direct impact on hospital revenue, so focus on metrics that monitor whether your IT systems allow clinicians to treat patients in an efficient and thorough manner.

Improved Patient Care

The ultimate goal of your healthcare IT system is to ensure that every patient receives the best care possible, so it’s essential to have KPIs focused on the crucial objective of improving patient care. There are three stages you should target:

  • Admission rates. How many patients can your facility accommodate? Balancing the number of patients that come in with admission speed is a complex objective. It’s important to ensure that your IT systems are equipped to facilitate the number of patients who need to be admitted. It is also critical to work with the care teams to provide solutions that eliminate unnecessary readmissions.
  • Patient wait time. Patients don’t want to wait for care. Are your IT systems slowing down patient wait times? If it’s a difficult or slow process to move patients through the hospital’s process of care, you may need to reevaluate the technology used for this purpose.
  • Overall satisfaction. Are patients pleased with the care they receive? How could your IT systems improve those interactions? For example, if nurses are hindered by slow systems and unable to attend to patient needs quickly, this impacts overall patient satisfaction.

Every healthcare organization has different requirements for KPIs. By understanding your own facility and the expectations for you as a healthcare IT director, you’re able to supplement the above KPIs with ones specific to your needs.

Talk to ICE, your IT Director's best ally, about creating the right KPIs for your organization.

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Jim Green | Senior Healthcare IT Consultant

Jim has over 20 years of experience in developing, managing, and implementing IT projects and solutions in healthcare, publishing, and insurance industries. Jim is currently serving hospitals and clinics in a CIO role, specializing in EHR optimization, process improvement, IT planning, and leading IT teams.