Those in the healthcare industry, specifically staff in hospitals, medical centers, testing facilities, and clinics, work tirelessly every day to save lives and care for patients while striving for profitability. Attention to quality improvement strategies in the healthcare arena is paramount. The success in balancing this dichotomy is a direct result of process efficiency and continuous quality improvement.
It’s a complex endeavor to build and maintain quality improvement methods that exhibit sustained outcomes. As a result, healthcare systems can feel overwhelmed as they strive to address the foundation of quality improvement.
In successful healthcare organizations, quality improvement strategies are built on three key pillars: Processes, Data, and Technology. The three pillars interconnect, leading to greater patient satisfaction, enhanced patient care, improved company efficiency, and cost savings.
It’s important for organizations of all sizes and complexities to consistently evaluate its operations, delivery systems, and processes. A good place to start is by conducting a process needs analysis in each business segment to identify process bottlenecks and time delays. The analysis and information will highlight quality improvement opportunities to improve efficiencies and processes.
Healthcare organizations that improve processes can enhance patient care, reduce staff frustration, and increase communication, employee retention, and profits. A few areas in the healthcare system that can benefit from streamlining processes include: Nursing, Human Resources, Supply Chain and Laboratories.
Nurses are the backbone of any patient care organization. Often short-staffed and prone to turnover, a chaotic-prone patient-care environment can dramatically improve through systematic process improvements.
Human Resources is a central hub for any organization, specifically in the healthcare arena. Standardizing procedures and creating a cohesive communication infrastructure will save time, reduce waste, and curb attrition.
The Supply Chain within a healthcare organization is critical to its operations. With a just-in-time approach, improved processes can maximize vendor and inventory management efficiencies.
The speed and accuracy that hospital laboratories can process patient test results increases the ability of medical staff to make timely decisions that impact patient care. A streamlined workflow will improve clinical efficiencies.
Take Time to Identify Process Issues
What areas of your healthcare organization are your biggest pain-points? What takes too much time and excessively consumes resources? Answers to these questions are a good place to start in tackling process issues in your healthcare organization.
At RTG Solutions Group, these are some of the questions our team of continuous improvement experts will ask. In most healthcare organizations, there are bottlenecks affecting processes that negatively impact the delivery of care to patients and to the overall operational effectiveness. These are solvable problems that can be benchmarked to KPIs and highlight connectivity to ROI.
Peter Ducker said, “If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it.”
We are committed to the belief that data is a center point when it comes to continuous quality improvement. In order to understand where to improve, requires analyzing and understanding the data and metrics. Data has the unique capacity to help showcase exactly how systems are functioning and how efficient they are.
Yet it’s not about just collecting data. The goal is not to collect the most and diverse data. It’s critical to collect and analyze the right data.
Through utilizing data with a sound benchmarking strategy with measurable key performance indicators (KPIs), healthcare leaders can make solid, informed decisions to assist in all operational workstreams. In the healthcare industry, analyzed data can contribute to fewer medical errors, advance treatment methods, improve communication between healthcare teams and patients, and enhance health outcomes. Data helps identify gaps in systems, pinpoint areas for improvement, set measurable goals, and monitor the effectiveness of change implementations.
In today’s healthcare arena, enormous data is being collected. It’s critical to also have good data to improve quality. Yet, how is the data analyzed and used to make a real impact on quality improvements across the healthcare system? Often the volume of the data without a clear process to evaluate it can impact opportunities to make informed decisions.
Capturing quality data and converting it into usable metrics to make smart, informed decisions is key to achieving quality improvements, reducing costs, and improving patient care. If your organization is striving to maximize your quality improvement opportunities, we can help. Our team of continuous improvement experts can help take these metrics and transform them into actionable steps.
When it comes to quality improvement, technology plays a critical role. Today, healthcare organizations, like hospitals, doctor offices, nursing homes, health practitioners, and diagnostic labs need integrated technology systems to help manage the high volume of data to maximize patient care.
Organizations that utilize technology and consolidate workstreams are often those that maintain high levels of operational efficiency. By automating tasks, utilizing predictive analysis, and gathering valuable data in a systematic manner, organizations can improve patient care, patient experience, and a company culture that is prepared, ready, and capable of handling high volumes of patients.
Electronic health and medical records (EHR & EMR) play a transformative role in collecting data necessary to deliver high-quality and coordinated patient care. The advantages of digitally sharing images and patient records improves clinician communication, medication safety, time-to-treatment, increases access to patient medical information for patient-centered care and reduces medical errors.
Technology plays an integral role in healthcare today. The right technology that collects and distributes needed information throughout a healthcare system layered within streamlined processes will increase efficiency, improve quality, and reduce costs.
By maximizing processes improvements, wielding data for strategic decision making, and addressing technology advancements, your organization can significantly improve efficiencies, processes, and quality improvement within your healthcare organization.
RTG Solutions Group is a business solutions firm that helps healthcare organizations identify and conquer process inefficiencies, master the use of data, and employ technology to establish a culture of continuous quality improvement. Contact us today!