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Assuring results from Systems investment

I am a big believer in and advocate for metrics and transparency.  Many tools and services come with metric capabilities that can do a great job of measuring performance, efficiency, and compliance for activities performed within a product.  Reliance on these reports can provide a great sense of confidence that operations are well executed and managed.  If dashboards report that performance is optimal, then outcomes must surely be in good shape as well.

However, there are times when reporting and outcomes are at odds with each other.  The first suspect is usually data integrity.  Either performance reports or outcome reports are suspected of flaws.  A thorough diagnostic analysis is performed to validate data integrity, discover any failure in accuracy or expose a fundamental misunderstanding of controls and results to resolve issues.  Usually problems are discovered, understanding is developed, adjustments are made so that process execution and result data become reconciled.  Operating management can then engage in coaching, process analysis or good old “accountability” enforcement to improve performance, optimize a new procedure or require execution as may be appropriate, confident in the analytics that support actions.

Some operating improvement initiatives suffer from a different flaw.  Let’s call it the “If we build it, they will come” syndrome.  A program is devised, perhaps as an additional option for clients or partners to engage with the enterprise.  In healthcare self-service scheduling, portals for physicians or patients, various bill pay convenience functions and other “alternatives” are prime examples of services which offer options for convenience.  The operating assumption is that the new option will experience utilization because it is slick, fresh, new, or just better than existing options.  Utilization, adoption and goal success are assumed because the new service is just so obvious.

New options sometimes do require active sponsorship to realize adoption benefits. This can include target client education, engagement support and on-going awareness campaigns to drive utilization.  Often these programs are lacking, responsibility for goal attainment falls on local leaders and staff.  A key element of investment success assurance that may be lacking are adoption metrics.  Targets for utilization of a new “path” should be established.  Trended total volume of activity, tracking of utilization of each “path”, and other utilization metrics should be used to monitor progress in each market.  Metrics can quickly illuminate the need for utilization support or other adjustments.

New process options must work efficiently and effectively.  They must also be utilized at expected levels or better, if goals are to be realized.  Bundling a new service or alternative with adoption tools, processes, support and, most of all, metrics can assure goal achievement.

Contact BrightWork Advisory, LLC for a “results assurance” engagement today!  WWW.BRIGHTWORKADVISORY.COM

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