Optimization in Healthcare: The So-What and Why

There is a lot of talk around data in in the world of healthcare today. Around optimization. Excitement with predictive analytics. The buzz of artificial intelligence and machine learning. All of this is great. But my mind quickly goes to the “So What” and “The Why?”

“So What” and “Why” does any of this data talk matter to healthcare?

Let’s dig into this a bit further, one area at a time.

The “So What” has to do with how to run the best organization possible. With the leveraging of data in a proper and methodical manner, healthcare organizations are able to stop relying on gut-feeling and emotion, and instead lean on statistical information and historic trends to make the best decisions in real-time.

  • Stop relying on instinct to plan for new patient visits. Instead use data that demonstrates how many new patients appear every Tuesday for these providers.
  • Stop allowing routing visits to doctors based on who is “busy” or “not busy.” Instead use artificial intelligence to ensure patients end up with the right provider whose schedule can not only handle the visit, but will actually benefit from it.
  • Stop hoping that schedulers will make sure follow-up and procedural patients don’t get scheduled too soon (where reimbursements will get denied). Instead, rely on the data and implement tools to reduce any risk of denied claims.

“The Why” has to do with why this is important long-term. With data driving the appropriate decisions in your healthcare organization, it will make a significant impact for the two most important stakeholders in healthcare.

  • Patients – Using data properly will ensure that there are the right slots available for them when they need to get in. They will be routed to the optimal provider at the right time. Back-ups at the clinic will be reduced, so wasted time in the waiting room will be less prevalent.
  • Providers – Data will allow your providers to see the visits at the top of their credentials. It will reduce the number of empty/no-show slots, so they won’t be sitting around waiting either. It will ensure patients who need care the most get appointments first, so providers are delivering optimal care.

So does data in healthcare matter? Can artificial intelligence and machine learning in healthcare operations make a difference? Yes – absolutely and we are seeing it take place today. The key is to know the “So What” and “Why” behind it. Otherwise, it is just one more project that will drive work for your teams without tangible results.

The upcoming blog series from some of my fellow Opargonauts will talk in more detail about the “SoWhat” and Why” behind data and artificial intelligence in healthcare. I hope you enjoy and would love your thoughts and feedback on how together we can #optimizehealthcare.

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