Busy versus Optimized: Your Provider’s Schedule

Providers care about healthcare optimization for the same reason all high-performers seek optimization in their respective fields- an unyielding desire to accomplish as much as possible each day. Optimization is defined as “the action of making the best or most effective use of a situation or resource.” Opargo applies this concept by making the most effective use of patient scheduling to make the most effective use each provider’s time. This can mean different things to different providers. For some, it means the ability to see additional patients. For others, it means the ability to see patients who need care the most and routing more routine visits to other providers. In all cases, providers stand to benefit from optimization.

Is there a difference between a busy schedule and an optimized schedule? Yes, there is and it is significant. We often refer to that distinction as being “the right kind of busy.” If a provider template is structured to allow for 250 patients in a week and that provider sees 250 Patients in a week, we might be inclined to view that week as a success. Maybe it was and maybe it wasn’t. The devil is always in the details.

Were 20 of those patients seen by a physician when they should have been seen by a purse practitioner? How many patients called, were unable to be seen and had to seek care elsewhere? Was the ratio of new patients to established patients aligned with the provider and practice goals? Were complex cases spaced throughout the day so that the provider remained on time? All of these factors directly impact providers, patients and the practice in major ways.

Physicians often have a vision of what their “perfect day” looks like. They know which types of visits will require more of their time and which visits are brief. They know how many patients they can comfortably see in a day. They know how to partner with their physician assistant or nurse practitioner to collectively provide care to more patients. The challenge they most often face is how to best communicate this vision to their scheduling staff and how to position the schedulers to consistently execute on that vision.

This is where Opargo’s optimization capabilities shine.

By aligning templates with historic demand and plugging in the physician’s vision, preferences and goals into a business rules engine, Opargo can provide the best options for each patient scheduling scenario to the schedulers every time. This process upgrades what have historically been tactical scheduling decisions into strategic scheduling decisions. When schedulers are empowered to make strategic decisions on behalf of the physician, his or her “perfect day” becomes less elusive and more repeatable.

Providers, patients, schedulers and practices all win.