Technology: Measure it, manage it

Q. Can tracking metrics help me gain visibility into my business?
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A. Typically when we receive questions about tracking metrics, they are from providers searching for ways to improve their business, but unable to determine which areas to focus on. It is increasingly imperative that organizations manage every area of their business through metrics, with a keen eye on constantly improving processes and streamlining or eliminating repetitive tasks and activities. 

We always recommend that providers start with measuring and monitoring business metrics like days sales outstanding (DSO), unconfirmed sales orders, denial ratios and net revenue collected. However, to thrive, providers must dig deeper to understand the specific components that make up each of these high-level metrics. For example, there are many steps that transpire before an order is added to the unconfirmed sales order list. These steps could include:

• Time elapsed from when the referral is received to the benefits being verified. 

• Time from benefit verification to order entry. 

• Time to request and receive correct documentation from referral sources. 

By breaking the process into discrete steps and inspecting the elapsed time for each one, providers will uncover problem areas that are negatively impacting their bottom line.

The software platform should enable providers to define the optimal workflow and measure the actual time spent on each step. Ideally, these results should be made available on dashboards so that staff members can quickly prioritize their work so they are more efficient. Using these results, providers will have the visibility necessary to make sound business decisions and identify where workflow bottlenecks exist, enabling them to resolve operational inefficiencies.

Jana Macon is vice president of strategic services for Brightree. Reach her at