Optimization: Where do we start?

The healthcare industry is always striving for optimization, but what does that really look like? In our upcoming series, we want to give you the complete run-down on how different aspects of your healthcare organization can be promoting the goals of your practice to help you increase efficiency and provide better care for patients. Optimization will vary from organization to organization, but today we wanted to talk a little bit about what optimization means to us. It’s understood that optimizing something means making the best and most efficient use of a resource. In our case, the resources that we take a look at regularly are physicians, extenders, procedure rooms, and clinic locations. These resources are all key players in running a successful practice, so why not make sure that they’re all being utilized as best as they can be? This is what sparks our interest every single day, and it is why we are always innovating. Our goal is to transform the way that we think about healthcare, and how clinic offices and scheduling operations should run. If we can optimize resources across practices, then the standard of care can be improved in clinics all over the country.

Our goal is to define our message by breaking it down into different categories. These include scheduling operations themselves, individual provider efficiency, and finally, access to care and how it can be improved. This post will give you a brief overview on our perspective on these elements.

Starting with scheduling operations, we like to take a look at the entire scheduling process from the first moment that a patient interacts with your practice. One of the terms that we use often when talking about this element is “schedule churn” and this basically means all of the schedule changes that are out of the control of the scheduler. These changes are known to have negative impacts on your practice, but what is there to do about them? Optimization can also be something as simple as making changes to your already existing templates to match historical demand. By automating some of the decision-making that usually falls on the shoulders of the scheduler, optimization can happen without much thought.

Next, we look at individual provider efficiency. One of the buzzwords that usually gets associated with this is physician burnout. With a few simple changes to patient distribution, and utilization of extenders, we can help take off some of the pressure that physicians might be feeling. Increasing efficiency can also, at its most basic level, can increase revenue.

Finally, we look at access to care among clinics. What is being offered as far as locations, procedures, telehealth opportunities, etc. can be extremely helpful when used correctly, but can sometimes overwhelm schedulers, especially with new telehealth routes being offered in practices. Automating these decisions can improve patient care by giving them an option that works best for them.

Over the next few months, we will go into more detail about these aspects and how Opargo’s solution can improve daily-life in your healthcare organization. By starting with these three umbrellas that we’ve identified as problem areas, it can be easy to understand what we’re doing and why it matters.