Using healthcare analytics to guide strategic decisions

By implementing the right analytics and reporting tools, you can set intentional, achievable goals and drive outcomes that matter.
Clinical Operations Patient Experience RCM

How does your healthcare organization measure its performance and impact?  

Do you base your success upon how many patients receive care or how quickly your staff provide it? Do you consider referral conversion or payment-collection rates? What about day-to-day responsibilities like patient engagement, staff training, payer management and marketing—how do those tasks factor in? 

The reality is that your healthcare organization, like any other business, is the sum of its parts. To make informed decisions, you need to capture a complete picture of your efficiency and progress—and understand how to improve them. Without a reliable way to measure these crucial metrics, how can you position your organization for the future? 

The answer is simple: Leverage robust healthcare analytics and reporting to better understand your organization’s strengths and weaknesses. With real-time data, you can more easily identify areas of outperformance and find opportunities for improvement. Better yet, those insights can help you develop actionable steps to reduce overhead, operate more efficiently, stay competitive and keep patients coming back.  

Here’s how implementing the right analytics and reporting tools can help you set intentional, achievable goals and make better strategic decisions. 

1. Understand patient acquisition and retention 

Attracting and retaining patients is paramount for any healthcare organization—but competition is heating up. Does your organization have an action plan?  

If not, it’s time to build one. 

Patient-acquisition analytics can help you discover how new patients are finding you—whether it’s through a phone call, a self-scheduling link, an appointment request form or anything in between. Those insights can help you determine where to invest to further grow your practice. 

Some third-party software vendors also generate reports that show how many of your new patients have come from referrals. Those reports often can be filtered by referral source so you can see which practices are driving your organization’s visit volume. You can use these types of insights to better engage your top referring providers—and to build new relationships with practices that may be interested in referring their patients to you. 

More importantly, incorporating healthcare analytics into your existing workflows can help you stay a step ahead of your competitors. Curious to know how patients’ satisfaction with their providers impacts retention? Survey your patients about it, and use the resulting data to complement your marketing efforts. Receiving complaints about long wait times? Use analytics to identify front-office bottlenecks and inform potential process improvements. 

In the wake of COVID-19, patients are gradually returning for in-person appointments, and visit volume is top of mind. By effectively leveraging data, your organization can make the most of the office-visit resurgence and ensure that your patients’ expectations are met. 

2. Keep tabs on your intake process 

Hiring is tough right now, and it’s not likely to get easier anytime soon. Certainly, implementing a digital patient check-in platform can help if you’re short-staffed. But it’s equally important to use data to make sure your organization is operating at peak efficiency. 

With integrated analytics, you can monitor every step of the intake process—before, during and after patients’ visits—so your front-office staff doesn’t have to. Rather than manually tracking intake metrics, you can leverage custom reporting to understand how patients are scheduling appointments, checking in and engaging with their providers. You can even gain granular insights into how many patients are signing consents, what percentage of patients have eligible insurance on file and how long it takes your staff to schedule appointment requests.  

If you’re operating with a lean staff, efficiency is crucial. That’s why it’s important to dig into the raw data you collect to understand your intake process, track staff performance and benchmark your progress toward organizational goals. 

3. Monitor and optimize top-line revenue 

Medicine, at its heart, is about restoring and supporting patients’ physical and behavioral health—but tending to your organization’s financial health is just as important. After all, maintaining financial viability is essential for keeping your lights on, retaining star staff and helping patients take an active role in their care. And to effectively manage your revenue cycle, you need visibility into the factors that influence it. 

By equipping your billing team with custom reports, you can track metrics like time-of-service collections, payer mix and more, even across multiple locations and service lines. You can gauge how different payment methods impact your bottom line, measure overall patient utilization of your payment tools and even monitor the performance of new revenue-cycle initiatives.  

Keeping a close eye on collection trends can help your staff identify missed revenue opportunities, including real-dollar values of unpaid balances, missed copays and denied claims. By tracking those metrics on a regular basis, you can better understand your organization’s payment workflows and develop actionable steps to improve them, such as giving patients more modern, convenient ways to pay. 

4. Promote better health outcomes 

Between managing diverse health needs and navigating value-based care arrangements, it can be challenging to determine which patients need the most high-touch support. 

Fortunately, technology can help make that determination easier. 

By collecting patient-reported outcomes before each visit—and running reports on patients’ responses to key screening tools—your staff can better understand health needs at a population level. With social determinants of health screenings, for example, you can gain a population-level view of unmet social needs, while giving care teams the information they need to pursue meaningful conversations with individual patients. In addition, using analytics to assess patients’ social determinants of health at the population level can help you more effectively allocate your resources to meet your quality measures.  

More importantly, healthcare analytics can bolster your preventive care efforts by identifying which patients are due for preventive services, such as annual wellness visits, mammograms or immunizations. By keeping tabs on those metrics, your staff can more easily reach out to relevant patients and close gaps in their care. 

Improving patient outcomes is a key priority for healthcare organizations. By complementing your organization’s clinical efforts with real-time data, you can better identify patients’ needs, note health patterns within your patient population and support your care teams in providing respectful, whole-person care. 

Learn how Phreesia’s analytics and reporting tools can help your healthcare organization drive outcomes that matter.