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Metrics: Start with correct setup

Metrics: Start with correct setup

Skye BanegasQ. How can you manage what you don't measure? 

 A. Metrics. A lot of times we're frozen by inability to even know where to start.  But start you must, because you cannot fly blind. In this industry with tight margins, crippling staffing shortages, ever changing fees and payer requirements, you must know and track what is going on. 

Thankfully, the EMRs we use have the data. We must harness this data, refine it, and translate it into actionable insights. Only then can you guide management decisions and empower frontline staff to execute their roles more effectively. 

Jim Collins in his influential book, Good to Great, says that "good is the enemy of great." We are so busy running our daily operations that we simply do not have the time to establish and integrate metrics into our processes. We're "good enough," we think. The result? We miss the opportunity to elevate our businesses from good to exceptional. 

In this series of columns, we will simplify the process of establishing metrics. There are three metric focus areas: financial, operational, satisfaction. 

In all these focus areas, the first step toward greatness is setting up your systems properly and capturing the data that is needed. In the companies that we work with, we almost always find system setup deficiencies.   

The most common setup deficiencies seen among providers include erroneous inventory multipliers, outdated fee schedules, incorrect payer mapping, and poorly implemented automations.  

In correcting these deficiencies, the system can begin to think for you. With a correct system setup, you'll create a cleaner view of financial, operational, and satisfaction metrics. Next month, we will deep dive into financial metrics and explore the importance of cash-to-gross, month-over-month, top denials and top A/R buckets. 

Skye Banegas is director of revenue cycle management at Strategic Office Support.


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