All healthcare organizations are collecting immense amounts of data, but very rarely are providers using it to its fullest potential. Hospice, with its high-touch nature, is no exception, and providers who optimize the use of their data can gain critical insights that aid in every aspect of care delivery.
As business intelligence (BI) becomes more important to hospice care providers, they are tasked with what to do with the information. Some indicators, like daily census and revenue, are important to leadership, while visit information represents quality metrics for clinical staff – all of which are important to providing the highest level of care.
“The way I think about business intelligence is there are four different types,” said Jaime Carlson, Vice President of Business Intelligence at ÂÌ²èapp. “Descriptive, diagnostic, prescriptive – then operationally, if you have the other three, what you should be doing becomes second nature. You spend less time running into obstacles and running more of an efficient operation.”
With those data types, hospice providers can focus on several specific key performance indicators (KPIs) to enable efficiencies and drive a proactive approach rather than a reactive one. Each individual organization has three key categories where KPIs matter most in hospice care: operational, financial and quality.
Identifying Operational, Financial and Quality KPIs
The perfect combination of KPIs provides operators with a holistic view of their organization’s performance, but the combination is not universal. Each organization has unique themes such as its strengths, pain points, and inefficiencies, so providers must work with their technology partner to identify the critical themes that drive their business. In doing so, they can determine what metrics will have the greatest relevance, then create a strategic action plan to get the most out of their data.
Once the themes are identified, providers can assign them to three different performance buckets – operational, financial and quality – and then distill that information into the most pertinent and impactful KPIs specific to their operation. Although there is not a one-size-fits all approach, there are a few KPIs that may serve as a good starting point for any provider. In the operational bucket, providers should lean on metrics that help identify growth opportunities and inefficiencies. In the financial bucket, providers should monitor KPIs that paint the full picture of the organization’s fiscal health. And in the quality bucket, providers must be keen on metrics that drive care outcomes and patient and family experience.
“From revenue and supplies to certifications of terminal illness, everything that providers have to do is based on their census, which is an amalgamation of their admissions, referrals and conversions,” he said
How to Improve Hospice KPIs
The value of these unique KPIs lies in an operator’s ability to act on them, and if an organization wants to see results, it must take a regimented approach to data management and analysis.
Even with constant oversight, however, the relationship between business intelligence and business performance is in constant flux as providers act on the data and measure the results. While this process involves a lot of controlled chaos and trial and error, there is always room for improvement, which creates significant opportunities.
“I look at BI as a circular or continuous process,” said Carlson. “You’re analyzing and measuring a problem, enacting a decision, analyzing the results, refining the action – the process goes on.”
Carlson stresses the importance of using BI consistently, both starting and ending each workday in the software. Using a technology dashboard enables providers to view the full scope of data at a glance and make critical business decisions with KPIs at their fingertips. They can then introduce BI into their stand-up calls, IDG meetings, QAPI, and other aspects of the day-to-day that could be supported or enhanced using data. In doing so, the entire organization is keeping a pulse on key metrics, even the most finite changes caused by decisions or actions from one day to the next.
“[Operating without BI] is like driving a car with no dashboard, no gas gauge and no speedometer,” he said.
Making the Most of Hospice KPIs
While some KPIs are universally important, operators must dig deep in order to tell the full story of their organization’s individual performance. It is imperative that hospice leaders work with their technology partners to identify key themes that drive the business so they can determine which KPIs to monitor based on their unique strengths, pain points, inefficiencies and goals.
Editorial Note: This article was originally published on Hospice News.