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Un-complicating Healthcare IT

A Closer Look: Your Hospital’s Resources & Performance Metrics

Oct 13, 2015 10:30:00 AM Posted by Phil Stravers | Partner, V.P. Strategy & Development

ThinkstockPhotos-167220418-1.jpgTo extract true value from your hospital’s technology, you need to do much more than “implement and use.” 

You must strategically manage your hospital’s human and technical resources to execute your IT Plan as effectively as possible. Then, you have to monitor and analyze your technology’s performance metrics to figure out where your spend is paying off – and where work is needed.

We’ll break down both of these steps here, explaining how to manage your human and technical resources strategically as well as measure IT performance metrics for optimal value.  

Manage Resources Strategically 

Your hospital’s IT Steering Committee and IT Plan should assign and utilize technical and human resources strategically, helping you avoid financial and operational complications. 

Once you have a plan, layer your IT and non-IT human resources accordingly. Look for the staff skill sets and availability you need to make your plan a success. By viewing your human resources through the lens of the Plan, you can preemptively identify constraints and prioritize the addition of new resources and projects before crises unfold.  

On the technical side, lean on your IT Plan to lay out your technology strategy year by year. Let’s say you want to replace old, slow endpoint devices that are causing headaches and interruptions. 

Instead of replacing them all in one year – tying up your IT department and expending a lot of capital at once – plan to replace 25% of your devices every year for four years, distributing workflow and budget evenly and reducing complications considerably. 

Monitor, Measure, Analyze And Adjust

To find out if your hospital’s IT Plan and efforts are delivering value, monitor and measure your organization’s performance.

Detailed performance metrics are the clearest way to gauge your operational efficiency and adjust future tactics. End-user feedback is valuable and worth consideration, but given its subjective nature, it shouldn’t constitute your main measure of success. 

A hospital guided by metrics strives for operational excellence at all times. Don’t just use metrics to make strategic technology decisions: Post them on a common-space TV monitor so that your entire staff sees how adherence to best practices and operational discipline moves your organization closer to its goals. 

Some Metrics Worth Assessing

VOLUMES METRICS
•  Census
•  OP Visits
•  Clinic Visits
•  Admission Counts

FINANCIAL METRICS
•  A/R Days
•  Total Patient Charges & Payments
•  Claims Billed
•  Surgery Charges By Surgeon
•  CPOE Order Count By Physician

PRODUCTIVITY METRICS
•  Lab Tests
•  Radiology Tests
•  Surgery Procedures
•  Image Orders

 Make sure you understand the difference between lead and lag measures as well.

A lead measure tracks behaviors that affect outcomes.
This includes measurements like assessment frequency, timeliness of medications, time spent on rework and frequency or timeliness of protocol performance.

A lag measure tracks the outcomes themselves.
This includes measurements like HCAHPS scores, readmission rates, length of stay, expenses and revenue.

Ideally, you should be tracking both, using lead measures to proactively improve behavior and arrive at better lag measures. 

Right Insight, Right Action

With your hospital’s performance metrics in hand, conduct a thorough analysis of your operations. Determine where improvements must be made to achieve business goals, work those improvements into your long-term IT strategy and align your resources accordingly. 

Remember: Keep lead measures in mind to make changes today that affect outcomes tomorrow. No matter how sophisticated your technology is, end user behavior and operational discipline are what drive true success. 

Learn even more ways to get greater value from your hospital’s technology. 

Free Whitepaper: Get More Value From Your Technology: 7 Best Practices For Community Hospitals

Phil Stravers | Partner, V.P. Strategy & Development

Phil Stravers, Partner and EVP of Strategy & Market Development at ICE Technologies, Inc. has been in consulting and management roles within the information technology industry for over 25 years and has spent more than 20 years helping hospitals and clinics “make IT work better”. Phil has had the opportunity to act as an Interim CIO for numerous hospitals which gives him a unique perspective on their challenges and associated solutions. Phil really enjoys sharing lessons learned and frequently presents at various hospital associations, HIMSS events and healthcare board rooms all over the country. In addition to his passion for improving Health IT, he loves baseball (die hard Cubs fan) and has spent more than 15 years coaching young baseball players. Phil lives in Pella, IA and often shares concepts learned from his background in coaching along with the Dutch farm culture and work ethic that his home town is known for.