For partners 
May 30, 2024

Beyond the Numbers: How KPIs Boost Patient Flow and Bottom Lines

Operational efficiency and patient satisfaction are crucial in any complex and competitive healthcare system. Increasingly, organizations’ ability to deliver exceptional service hinges on tracking and meeting clearly defined performance standards. These Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) both shed light on current performance and guide improvements in patient care and financial health. The challenge lies in selecting KPIs that accurately reflect performance and can be effectively used to drive positive change.

The Role of KPIs in Modern Healthcare

To appreciate the impact of KPIs, it is important to understand how health systems and medical providers apply them. Facilities depend on KPIs as the backbone of performance evaluation and strategic decision making. KPIs are meticulously tracked, analyzed, and reported monthly to management through a sophisticated data warehouse and business intelligence data visualization software. By measuring indicators such as Length of Stay, Timeliness, and Readmission Rates, healthcare providers can pinpoint areas needing improvement within their patient flow and track the effectiveness of implemented changes over time. Let’s take a closer look at these metrics:

Key KPIs Defined:

  • Length of Stay: This metric measures the number of days a patient spends at a facility. This KPI is crucial as it directly affects hospital throughput and cost-efficiency. A higher length of stay may result from delays in transporting patients out of the facility due to a lack of available ambulance resources. A reduced length of stay can free up additional resources and prevent costs for additional overnight stays.
  • Timeliness: This metric for non-emergency medical transportation evaluates the promptness of service delivery. Ensuring that patient pickup is on-time is vital for patient satisfaction and operational fluidity. Timeliness can also impact the perception of care quality, influencing satisfaction scores.
  • Readmission Rates: This metric measures how often patients are readmitted to the hospital within a specified period after discharge. High readmission rates can be indicative of premature discharges or inadequate post-discharge care. Monitoring this KPI helps healthcare systems implement better patient follow-up practices and informs patient populations for post-transitional care programs to reduce the risk of revenue penalties from Medicare for readmission.

Impact on Operational Efficiency

When partnering with providers like DocGo, health systems can use a range of analytics and business intelligence tools to gain deeper insights into their operations. KPI data can be drilled down by health system, division, hospital, department, floor, or even to the individual nurse. This granular visibility into operations and spending helps enable healthcare facilities to make informed decisions to streamline operations.

Through real-time data integration, facilities can monitor and respond to performance metrics more effectively. For example, by tracking ‘Bedside Delays’ (i.e. the time and reasons that a patient is not ready when an ambulance crew arrives) and optimizing ‘Package Time’ (i.e. the time elapsed between when a crew arrives on-scene and the transport departs), DocGo can help maximize the efficiency of medical transport units. The result: patients are moved swiftly and beds are cleared as soon as possible.

Improving Patient Satisfaction Through Data

Patient satisfaction is heavily influenced by their experience of care delivery. Efficient use of digital platforms for service requests and real-time tracking of service delivery can significantly enhance the patient experience. This not only improves the patient’s perception of care but can also influence hospital ratings and public reputation, which are increasingly accessible through online review platforms and social media.

Financial Implications

Health systems that employ effective KPI management for their patient movement and mobile health services can experience a reduction in expenses and an increase in revenue. Prevention of bedside delay and transportation cancellations cuts costs and improves bed flow management. Likewise, tracking and increasing the volume of digital requests via the ordering platform streamlines dispatch processes, helping to reduce the need for call taker personnel and decrease staffing costs. Even home health survey assessments can help minimize financial penalties associated with patient readmissions.

Boosting Patient Flow and Bottom Lines

The strategic application of KPIs for patient flow and mobile health services is reshaping how health systems and their providers deliver care and manage their operations. Through a systematic approach to data analysis and performance measurement, the industry is moving towards a more efficient, patient-centric model of care. When health systems partner with service providers like DocGo, KPIs are developed collaboratively and evolve over time as new benchmarks are set. KPIs are delivered in real-time dashboards available to health system leadership and transport management at any time.

This partnership enables greater transparency, establishes common goals and benchmarks progress for enterprise-wide process improvement. As these practices become more entrenched, they promise to enhance both the quality of care provided AND the financial sustainability of healthcare institutions.