Understanding the intricacies of your healthcare organization’s processes and operations can mean the difference between a well-functioning team of medical professionals and a chaotic hub of inefficiency.
Investing in your digital evolution through the lens of process intelligence can help you identify inefficiencies, benchmark against your peers, and boost your process improvement maturity. So how can healthcare organizations improve their process intelligence IQ and compete in an ever-changing industry?
The policies of the government and private insurers aren’t the only challenges healthcare providers face. While investment in technology in many industries provides a clear return on investment (ROI), in healthcare it can sometimes be unclear. In addition, healthcare providers are often complex entities with multiple departments and parent companies.
Complex Healthcare Organizations
As well as rising costs, a recent flurry of mergers and acquisitions has greatly increased the complexity of healthcare organizations’ IT environment. Melding disparate companies can lead to information being isolated in silos. Being unable to see across these various systems means that it’s even more difficult than usual to track processes through the organization.
This lack of traceability is a major inhibitor of productivity and profitability growth in healthcare organizations. It’s clear that the level at which companies leverage digital tools and processes demonstrates a clear demarcation between industry leaders and laggards.
For years, healthcare organizations have operated in silos. Recent changes in health care regulations, as well as greater expectations of patient care and a shift to focus on patient health, have caused mounting pressure in these organizations to provide better visibility into how they are dealing with patients. It’s not enough to know that a patient is entering the emergency department, the organization also needs to understand if and when the patient returns with the same concerns, and how the patient’s case was dealt with across all levels of the organization.
This demand for a high level of knowledge and visibility creates a need for a lot of data, which can often be siloed across different departments. Consolidating this data can be an expensive and time intensive task. Additionally, even after the data is consolidated, it doesn’t have enough flexibility to deal with the changing needs of the organization. Organizations need a way to see every step of the process and have all the process data consolidated so they can more effectively improve process execution. Process Intelligence (PI) provides vital visibility into how processes are executing, and enables the analysis of those processes, speeding the path to completion for busy organizations.
Where does your organization measure up on analytics?
Level 1: Reactive Reporting
While all organizations do some things better than others, there are some key indicators as to the level of digital development in healthcare organizations. Those companies at the start of their reporting journey are often characterized by an inactive culture and a lack of technological integration or urgency for change. As a result, the workflow is fragmented with many manual tasks and processes, which are often repetitive and duplicated. At this development stage, many organizations focus on reactive, canned reporting, basic operational measures, and benchmarking themselves against their peers.
Level 2: Measuring and Benchmarking
By contrast, advanced healthcare organizations have integrated technology and processes and tools to streamline repetitive and manual tasks. Instead of resistance, there is a culture of openness to change and a focus on addressing workflow bottlenecks and introducing solutions.
While these organizations are more developed than their reactive reporting peers, they do still have room to grow. Many organizations at this stage concentrate on proactive monitoring, advanced benchmarking, drilling down into actionable insights and understanding the root cause of their productivity inefficiencies.
Level 3: Optimizing Actionable Analytics
While organizations at the measuring and benchmarking stage appear to be cutting edge, the level beyond that represents an inspiring step change. Organizations that focus on optimizing actionable analytics have completely integrated technology solutions and streamlined workflows. They have centralized and optimized processes through a core operational solution, which provides clear lines of communication and mechanisms to address and resolve bottlenecks quickly.
These visionary organizations focus their efforts on orchestrating and effectively using analytics, pulling actionable insights from those analytics, understanding the root cause of any remaining issues, empowering staff and administrators, driving governance, and risk mitigation through scenario planning and predictive analytics. This stage involves a deep and holistic understanding and use of PI, as it helps users to understand what parts of the process are broken and what they need to do to fix it.
Becoming a Process Intelligence Visionary
To achieve an integrated analytics approach, your organization needs forward-thinking process professionals and PI. PI takes up where Business Intelligence (BI) ends, helping organizations truly understand themselves by analyzing processes and identifying process gaps and inefficiencies, through seeing their business metrics in the context of these processes.
PI relates information from systems of record and siloed data systems to specific steps in an organization’s business processes. The insights derived from this information can highlight areas of inefficiency and waste, as well as dark processes – unofficial steps that sometimes work but not always. Both these issues present a compliance risk exposure that needs to be at least managed, if not eliminated. These insights can also provide valuable information regarding the impact a particular process has on patient health and satisfaction.
Improving Accuracy of Healthcare Systems
In a leading integrated U.S. healthcare system, PI is being used to pull data from 25 disparate reporting systems into integrated dashboards designed to give nurses, managers and doctors real-time data visibility into triaging patients. As a result, this healthcare system has seen improved utilization, with nursing staff achieving complete visibility over which departments are operating at capacity and which are performing at lower levels. These actionable insights are produced in minutes instead of days.
By utilizing PI and investing in operational efficiency, process professionals like you can evolve your business to the point where these analytics become a pervasive and critical component of your organizational environment. Organizations like yours are focused on wide-scale transformation, building analytics into the foundations of the business strategy and leveraging predictive analytics, scenario planning, and risk mitigation.
Making this transition from an advanced process professional to a visionary one is a big step but the advantages offered in terms of quality of patient care, productivity and profitability could transform your organization.
For more information on how to revolutionize your healthcare organization’s processes, view this free infographic, How to Evaluate Your Healthcare Organization’s Process IQ and Visualize the Path Forward.