A way to measure efficiency is how you can define productivity classically. Productivity is how to measure the output that comes from units of input if we put it in an economic context. Workplace productivity is an estimate of how efficiently organizations utilize their resources to accomplish business objectives.
Improving productivity is important because increasing it can increase revenue using the same or fewer resources. Productivity enhances economic viability. So, when it comes to healthcare, how do you measure productivity?
Why is healthcare productivity Important?
Due to growth, aging facilities, and technology, there is a growing need for capital. Incentives from CMS call on healthcare organizations to enhance coordination of treatment and reduce waste. Decreasing reimbursement and Increasing expenses are shrinking margins. The Affordable Care Act and Deficit Reduction is accelerating change.
Revenue enhancement opportunities are starting to reduce. To maintain acceptable operating margins healthcare organizations must operate at the lowest possible cost while providing the highest quality of care. Increases in technology budgets haven’t yielded expected (promised?) labor savings.
Considerable upgrades in workforce productivity would be required to be made by healthcare organizations to meet the challenges of healthcare reform. Understanding how to keep your patients while keeping your practice financially stable is very crucial.
How is Healthcare Productivity Conventionally Measured?
The traditional approach to calculating the efficiency of health care usually defines output as expenditure on health products and facilities, such as medical services, services of doctors, medicines, deflated by an appropriate price index to obtain a measure of actual output over time. Traditional productivity growth metrics describe health care output as the marginal health care expenses of service providers (hospitals, doctors, etc.) deflated by a health care price index.
This, in theory, should yield a measure of output units over time. However, if the cost of healthcare is miscalculated, then the output and productivity measures will be incorrectly calculated as well. Thus, any problems with measuring the costs of health care mean issues for measuring productivity.
Typically, high productivity is related to a few different metrics. Such metrics often have to do with cash or how much time you spend in your medical practice. How many patients you see or how much time a doctor gets to spend with each of their patients may be variables that can be included. Healthcare productivity could be influenced for financial reasons by how much money is spent recruiting workers at peak hours of service.
Often when you keep the doctors past their normal working hours, productivity is impaired. In this case, if you employ staff only when it is absolutely necessary, and only for the most vital patient treatment, you can achieve positive healthcare productivity. Today, in some ways, minimizing expenditures and time may be beneficial, but they do not always lead to success.
Problems With Traditional Productivity in Healthcare
The problem with conventional metrics is that the human aspect is neglected by them. Although doctors may see fewer patients in a day or spend more time with patients, some standards may generally deem them “less productive,” they also increase patient satisfaction, which has other benefits for the practice as a whole.
For many patients, a doctor’s reputation matters a lot when choosing a practice. Most of them trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Patients with higher clinic satisfaction rates are also more likely to give positive reviews, whether online or to friends and family, outside of the clinic.
This will boost the practice’s overall credibility and improve the standard of care given. In the meantime, it is observed that patients who receive inferior treatment do not come back and seek medical treatment elsewhere. If your clinic’s aim is to maximize efficiency in order to expand, then it would not help to move them through as quickly as possible.
On the other side, when they are sitting in the waiting room, time matters most to patients. Patients often say that reduction in wait times in the waiting room will either absolutely or somewhat reduce their dissatisfaction. This means that “hard” metrics, such as time spent with patients and cost per patient, and “soft” metrics, such as patient and staff satisfaction, and the overall value and quality of care given, both must also be included in measuring productivity.
How Healthcare Productivity Can Be Improved for You?
What measures can be taken to raise your productivity the most? You must first recognize all the metrics that matter including time spent with patients, Patient satisfaction levels at the end of treatment, and overall level of care. In order to eliminate unproductive tasks, practices must use technology. You want doctors to spend their peak hours engaging with patients and not thinking about paperwork or other things that can be done using technology because time is still a factor. It may also involve the use of software such as online intake forms and patient portals for front desk employees, nurses, and physicians to ease the intake process.
Practices should look for any external factors that cause low productivity. This may include complex regulations or mandates that make it hard to stay compliant. For any practice, it can be a difficult task to completely comply with all the regulations that are currently in place.
While conventional productivity methods include cost and time, those are not the only productivity metrics. Practices need to look at the big picture and take into consideration highly measurable metrics, such as waiting times and revenue versus costs, but also “soft” metrics, such as patient well-being, ease of care, and accessibility.
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