Greetings from the last day of The 2014 OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute in Washington D.C. Today we had another great day of all things technology – strategy, new technology, metrics, and more. One of the presentations with the most practical advice for management teams was the session, How To Improve The ROI Of Your EHR: Optimizing Your Technology Investment, led by Matthew Dorman, Chief Executive Officer of Credible Behavioral Health, and Joanie Clement, Credible’s Director, Financial Services.
The frame for their presentation was the overwhelming (and increasing) amount of data that managers have at their disposal – and the challenges in synthesizing this data into useful information for strategy development and management action. As an example, he referenced the concept of “email bankruptcy” – a term coined in 1999 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Sherry Turkle, when discovering in her email research that some people harbor fantasies about escaping their e-mail burden. For more on e-mail bankruptcy, check out E-Mail Reply To All: ‘Leave Me Alone’. And, if you’re feeling inundated with too much email, check out both The Right Way To Deal With ‘Email Bankruptcy’, and How To Avoid Email Bankruptcy: 5 Rules That Work.
The presentation had a simplicity of message that I liked – most executives can manage their organizations with just five metrics. Which begs the question, why isn’t that happening and what are these mysterious five metrics? The recommended metrics are pretty straightforward:
- Revenue per employee
- Number of services delivered per employee
- Total collections (as opposed to gross revenue) per employee
- Time from service to billing
- Time from billing to payment
What I like about the message is the “just do it” approach. Many management teams postpone pulling the trigger on routine tracking of performance metrics and introducing metrics-based management practices to their organization as they wait for the range of their information to increase. But they are both missing the opportunity for immediate incremental improvement and delaying improving their team’s metrics-based management competencies. For more on this, see Don’t Postpone Performance Management Waiting For “Big Data”, What To Do If You Don’t Have ‘Big Data’ – Making The Most Of ‘Little Data’ and ‘At The Speed Of Disruption’.
The second part of the session focused on the process improvement to improve those metrics. Joanie Clement set a high bar for the audience, referring to an attainable (and impressive) collection rate of 99%. The checklist for achieving that high collection rate included:
- Centralized process for insurance verification
- EHR verification of the existing of payer contract, the contracted payer amount, and eligible professionals
- EHR verification of treatment plan construction elements that meets payer requirements
- EHR-generated reminders to conduct concurrent authorizations and obtain additional authorizations
- A process to check payer acknowledgment files
- Monthly posting of all receipts to the general ledger and a monthly review of aging/collections
My big takeaway from the session is that, whatever the domain and scope of your organization’s use of data in management, a structured and constant process that imbeds those analytics into organizational operations is the key to success, and to maximizing the ROI of your EHR – or any other technology investment. In this case, action trumps perfection – or, to quote Voltaire, “Perfect is the enemy of good.”
For more about technology, stay tuned in the coming week for our post-institute coverage of The 2014 OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute; and check out our archived coverage on Twitter @openmindscircle #TII14, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/openmindscircle.