RESEARCH & RESOURCES

LESSON - Healthcare Performance Management: Transforming Healthcare Operations

Today’s healthcare providers want to make more meaningful use of their information and become more data driven—but organizational and information silos make these goals elusive. Healthcare Performance Management aligns goals with operational processes to foster accountability and visibility across the healthcare enterprise.

By Alan Eisman, Director, Healthcare Solutions, Information Builders

Today’s healthcare providers want to make more meaningful use of their information and become more data driven—but organizational and information silos make these goals elusive.

Healthcare Performance Management (HPM) aligns goals with operational processes to foster accountability and visibility across the healthcare enterprise. It’s an integrated and organic strategy and framework that helps providers balance the way they measure and manage performance, linking key clinical, administrative, and financial activities in an optimal way.

The Changing Healthcare Landscape

HPM becomes particularly important as organizations navigate the industry’s shift from fragmented, fee-for-service care to integrated, outcome-based care. To remain profitable while enhancing the patient experience, providers need the insight that only HPM can deliver: a trusted source of information, a tool to improve care and resource coordination, and evidence-based clinical best practices with integrated financial management.

This requires more than just Excel-based scorecards that are disconnected from operational initiatives and actions. It requires a supporting technology platform that can serve as a framework for managing, communicating, and directing objectives and activities organization wide. Goals, strategies, measures, processes, and initiatives must be merged in a way that makes sense to everyone in the healthcare value chain. System-wide goals must be linked to supporting functional objectives, and in turn linked to clinical and administrative processes.

How HPM Should Work

A world-class HPM system goes even further by linking what is being managed and improved over time with operational data and analytics to support management, clinicians, and administrators in their daily work.

The comprehensive HPM platform supports performance management at three levels:

  • Strategic: To enable senior management to monitor performance at a high level and communicate strategies throughout the organization
  • Analytic: To perform cause-effect analysis to discover patterns and outliers not easily identifiable in higher-level information, so strategies and operational efforts can be better focused
  • Operational: Where the initiatives, processes, and activities directly tied to goals can be monitored and optimized

Key operational measures such as DNFB, ED wait times, ALOS, and aspirin on arrival are reinforced in real time, while their impact on strategic goals is more readily understood.

What to Look For

The HPM platform should provide a robust architecture that includes:

  • An integration framework that can access and unify information from any source
  • Built-in analytics that enable nontechnical users to analyze any data from across the organization
  • Comprehensive performance management capabilities that allow key metrics and scorecards to be defined, measured, and trended over time
  • Personalized dashboards that let each user uniquely tailor their environment and drill anywhere
An HPM Road Map

Through the evaluation of healthcare leaders, a clear road map has emerged. One distinguishing element is active executive involvement in overcoming the challenges created by a fragmented system. Healthcare performance metrics are complex and subject to much skepticism, so getting everyone on the same page and focusing on data governance and metrics that matter is essential. Therefore, we prescribe a road map that delivers incremental value so that organizations can embrace the necessary transformative change and realize the ambitious vision of HPM.

Summary

As healthcare providers struggle to optimize care quality while operating more efficiently and cost effectively and ensuring regulatory compliance, a broad-reaching HPM strategy, combined with the right tools and technologies, can empower them to achieve their most critical goals. This holistic approach makes the performance of every department and physician fully transparent and verifiable across the organization, even to the CEO. And since no one wants to be subpar when it comes to care quality, this creates a performance-based culture, promoting clear accountability and continuous improvement.

This article originally appeared in the issue of .

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