When it comes to healthcare analytics, the discussion tends to revolve around the high-profile and groundbreaking practices of using data to identify risk for disease and ailments. With the exception of a few discussions around workflow automation and some radiology artificial intelligence (AI), that’s where the conversations trail off. But while these clinical predictive models and solutions are extremely important to the future of healthcare, they can overshadow an equally important opportunity to save massive amounts of cash and resources – the use of operational analytics.
As a precursor, we want to be clear that by no means are we trying to say that clinical analytics aren’t important or that you should shift all of your focus to operational analytics. In fact, there are many predictive analytics solutions on the horizon that operate on a hybrid model of both clinical and operational data with great success. What we are trying to say, though, is that if you’re not actively looking at how operational analytics may be able to positively impact your practice, you may be missing a massive opportunity.
In this article, we’d like to take a look at a few benefits and opportunities of operational analytics in healthcare.
The ROI Story is Clear
When it comes to deciding on new analytics solutions, ROI tends to lead the discussion. If we invest in this new technology, what sort of return can we expect? Not only is this question an important one for the decision-maker choosing the solution, but the answer becomes even more important when it comes to securing buy-in from the C-suite and facility directors. The better you can articulate and demonstrate the potential return on investment, the less resistance you face in adoption.
With clinical analytics, accurately portraying ROI can be challenging. The conversation and calculations are much more complex and require an extensive number of assumptions. With operational analytics, it’s a completely different story. Modeling the potential ROI generally can be done with just a few pieces of data and a few quick calculations.
For example, let’s take a look at an operational analytics model that helps predict which patients are more likely to cancel or no-show their next visit. In order to determine the potential savings, you’d just need to look at the size of the practice, the current no-show rate, the average revenue per visit, and the average visits per patient. From there, you can easily figure out how much money is being lost from no-shows. Apply the predicted percentage reduction in no-shows you’d get by employing the predictive analytics solution in your EMR, and you can quickly see the savings clear as day.
The bottom line is that ROI from operational analytics EMR features and product solutions are easier to understand, believe, and prove, and facilitate engagement and buy-in from key players.
It would be a mistake to approach healthcare analytics with a hardline view that solutions must be either clinical or operational in nature. One of the most exciting things we’re seeing within the industry is hybrid solutions that come with clinical and operational benefits. Not only does this mean more benefits for patients and staff, but it also means you can utilize the clearer ROI picture of operational analytics to secure buy-in for clinical analytics solutions.
Here’s a great example of a hybrid solution from the wound care industry. Analytics and predictive models exist to help determine the likelihood that a pressure injury will deteriorate and progress. While the clinical benefits of this are clear, this also has a major effect on financials, logistics, and ROI. By greatly reducing the occurrences of these complications, you protect your organization from unnecessary costs and logistics issues.
What Does This All Mean?
The obvious follow-up question is what does this mean for my organization? First, don’t stop pursuing clinical analytics solutions if they fit into your team’s plans. Second, start looking into operational analytics solutions that help to drive better patient outcomes, offer greater support for staff, and deliver a stronger bottom line.
If you’re not sure where to start, a great next step is to reach out and speak with someone from Net Health. The company is leading the charge forward when it comes to predictive analytics solutions for EMRs and full-service analytics solutions. If you’ve ever wanted to find an easy way to get into or improve the way your organization leverages data to see real results, you’ll want to talk to Net Health today.
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The Expanding Role of Predictive Analytics over Clinical and Operational Decision-Making