31 August 2022
Using practice data to improve patient experiences
Running a healthcare practice is a continual quality improvement journey. Your practice’s data can streamline this process, giving you insights to help you measure and enhance business performance, your daily running processes and ultimately, your patients’ satisfaction and outcomes.
Staying across your practice data helps you keep doing what works and change what doesn’t.
If your practice still uses spreadsheets, and shares files via email or folders on hard drives, then tracking, measuring and implementing insights from your practice data could be time consuming and potentially error-prone. Digital technology makes this process quicker and simpler. A practice management platform such as PracticeHub lets you easily create, store and update your policies and procedures, manage daily tasks and equipment maintenance, and train your staff. Coupled with a data analytics platform like Cubiko, your practice’s data becomes a meaningful guide for your quality improvement strategy.
Let’s look at some strategies for using your practice data to achieve excellence in your services and processes.
What key metrics have the greatest impact on your practice?
This will look different for every practice, but broadly, the most important data are around practice efficiency, profitability and quality of care. Specifically, here are some examples you would need to monitor, at least monthly, quarterly and annually:
- online bookings vs in-person bookings
- patient waiting times
- nurse to doctor to allied health team ratios
- staffing and rostering – does it cover you at busy times?
- billing: bulk bill vs mixed billing
Turning your data into actionable quality improvement
Once you have a handle on your practice data, how do you use it to make improvements? Setting key performance indicators (KPIs) is the easiest, most meaningful way to translate data into making decisions about quality improvement, then into action and results.
But before that, you need to know your practice’s strategy and goals. Your KPIs are how you achieve those goals, and help you measure progress. A data analytics platform like Cubiko can help you easily see if you’re hitting your targets on time or not.
To make the process more relevant and less overwhelming, start by choosing those (e.g. from the key metrics list above) that are most meaningful to improving your practice operations, quality of service and business performance.
Engage your team in practice data for better performance
When you think of your practice data as being more than graphs on a report for the practice owner or accountant, but as a guide to improving processes so you save time and money, and provide better patient outcomes, it makes more sense to everyone in your practice.
Using your KPIs to guide you, the next step is to get your team on board. By incorporating practice data into assigning and managing tasks for your team, they engage with it better, because they can see how it makes their job easier, and improves services (for happier patients) and financial outcomes (for better business performance).
Include updates on metrics and how your practice is tracking in your staff meetings, so everyone feels involved and has an opportunity to contribute ideas and feedback on even more ways to improve.
Document and share
Of course, documenting how you transform your practice data into KPIs and tasks can be essential to managing performance and progress, while keeping your team engaged and up to date.
PracticeHub can be an important tool for your quality improvement processes. Its built-in policies and procedures, registers and training modules help increase your operational efficiency and team development. It provides data such as audit history and staff sign-off on policy updates and completed training modules, so you can easily track compliance and improvements. This then makes accreditation easier, as well as providing evidence at assessment time.
The registers are an easy way to enhance your quality improvement efforts. Some examples are a register to log patient complaints and suggestions. This is a great opportunity to allow patients to suggest ways you can improve their experience at your practice. A risk register will help you better manage clinical, business and health and safety risks.
The Resources templates included in PracticeHub can help you manage your quality improvement activities, linking them to your overall quality improvement register; whether it’s activities like decreasing waiting times, improving your patient recall system or billing processes.
Team development can be an important part of quality improvement and PracticeHub’s eight pre-configured training modules let you train your team on-site. Staff members receive a certificate on successful completion of their training too, which provides incentive and satisfaction. And in PracticeHub, you can track their training progress and pull data to demonstrate that your practice meets the quality improvement component of your compliance.
Learn how PracticeHub simplifies using data to create processes for a better quality practice. Book a consultation or call 1300 96 86 36.
Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Avant and PracticeHub are not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss suffered in connection with the use of this information. Information is only current at the date initially published. © Avant Mutual Group Limited 2021.