Providers now use metrics to analyze quality of care and patient engagement. But with the increased financial strains facing payers and providers, they also need to measure efficiency. The problem, however, is that gauging efficiency doesn’t always take into account quality of life. Instead, it can bind providers to metrics that may or may not matter for patient care plans.
That’s not to say that these data points don’t matter. On the contrary, metrics that assess efficiency and effectiveness are vital for providers to increase their bottom line and improve patient health.
The challenge facing many providers is that they don’t always have access to metrics that show the big picture of care team efficiency and patient-reported outcomes at the same time. That’s why Welkin’s platform collects data from multiple sources, including patients and care team members.
These reports allow providers to improve compensation from payers while maximizing the efficiency of their medical staff.
Comprehensive Overview of Outcomes
Patient-reported outcomes really matter in this value-based care environment. These outcomes impact patient care plans and overall compensation from capitated payment models. Plus, patient-reported outcome measures now have the potential to influence clinical trials and help validate medical research.
But beyond that, clinical practices need to be able to differentiate their program from stagnant standards of care and other outdated interventions. In particular, care teams need to be able to show that they’re not just operating in the status quo but are trying to move patients’ quality of life forward.
By collecting data from patient outcomes, program directors can evaluate if particular population sectors are being overlooked within the program. Around 80% of outcomes, for example, are in some way influenced by the social determinants of health. If these at-risk patients fall through the cracks, they often end up costing providers more time, money and staffing over the long run.
With the correct analytic reports, however, program directors can see how well care teams are doing at pinpointing these specific health risks. When reports show that care teams aren’t able to address the social determinants, directors can review protocols, automation, and staff procedures to assess holes in the program.
Due to the quality, these measurements add to clinical trials and long term revenue for providers, outcomes reports play a vital role in care programs.
Utilizing Team Strengths to Their Full Advantage
Another challenge for clinical practices trying to optimize cost-efficiency and outcomes is how they use staff members. With the turmoil caused by the ACA and other health care legislation, many clinicians have taken on extra administrative tasks that prevent them from using their particular strengths for the benefit of the team.
If this were baseball, it might be similar to the left fielder playing pitcher and left the field at the same time. Suffice it to say, it won’t work. For teams to work together, certain skill sets should be tied to certain tasks. In health care, poor usage of skills ends up leaving gaps in patient experience and team workflow.
However, patient relationship software gathers data that shows how and where team members are spending their time. With this overview in hand, program directors can see at a glance if care team workflow is truly optimizing the strengths of each staff member so that care teams can be as efficient as possible.
In addition, program directors can observe what activities are the most time consuming for staff, allowing teams to then analyze their procedures and add more automation if needed. For organizations with scheduled activities such as video conference calls with patients or department meetings, reports allow administrators to see how fully booked staff is, preventing them from overbooking or underbooking team members.
Touchpoints Between Staff and Patients
A common challenge for care teams is managing communication between patients and different care team members. For instance, with traditional patient relationship management, one team member may assume that another member is going to follow up with patient care plans and vice versa.
But the result of these assumptions can result in patients never getting contacted by their care team. Or if they do make contact, patients may end up answering the same questions as the last conversation. Welkin’s platform, however, allows care teams to keep track of conversations between patients and clinicians so that patients don’t slip through the cracks.
Here’s how this works. Care teams can coordinate care across multiple channels such as phone calls, messaging, emails and videoconferencing. Every patient interaction is recorded in Welkin’s reports, and care teams can view these reports (and even the raw data) to see exactly where they need to improve outreach and communication.
Consequently, care teams that use patient relationship reports are able to continually streamline their processes and protocols while regularly improving patient-reported outcome measures.
Patient Sentiment and Satisfaction
Historically, doctors gathered information about patient sentiment at in-person appointments. With the constant influx of new patients and the rise of chronic illnesses though, care teams simply can’t keep up with patients on a regular basis. In-person appointments often focus on treating the most concerning symptoms rather than on gathering data about patient satisfaction.
But if the patients’ views aren’t considered, they, in effect, won’t be able to help with decision-making. And while clinicians and other health professionals have a vested interest in positive patient outcomes, patients have more so. Because of this, patients need to be able to share input about the value of care they believe they’re receiving.
By gathering satisfaction reports, care teams can make sure that care plans are prioritizing patients’ most pressing concerns and needs. These reports allow medical staff to hear first hand how patients really feel about the program and the attention they’re getting from their team. Program directors can then neutralize any program deficiencies and inefficiencies that could lead to patient drop off and higher long term expenses.
In addition, gathering patients’ sentiments shows care teams where they can improve. This gives team members and directors a ground-level view of the program itself. They can review how they are making a difference in patients’ lives and what causes the greatest level of dissatisfaction.
From patient satisfaction to outcomes metrics, Welkin’s software produces all of these reports so that patient outcomes and efficient coordinated care don’t have to be at odds. Instead, the right data can help patients, care teams, and health systems work together in harmony.
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