All healthcare organizations are under pressure to perform more with less. As a result of healthcare reform and more specifically, the Affordable Care Act, there is a need to reduce costs while still providing the highest degree of patient care. This pressure affects all levels in the healthcare setting, from the senior management teams to the clinical and administrative support staff who create the patient care experience. Analysis of current processes, Lean thinking, and utilization of current healthcare technology, such as Epiphany’s Cardio Server, are tactics that can enable the delivery of higher-quality and lower-cost patient care. The following steps should be considered to improve your organization's clinical workflow.
1. Reduce Labor Costs
As department directors for clinical operations, the largest expense you have control over is labor costs. In healthcare organizations, labor costs can contribute approximately 60% of total costs for the organization. Therefore, measures that can be put in place to reduce labor costs while still providing the best quality of care and patient experience are extremely valuable.
2. Analyze Your Workflow Using Lean Tactics
Perhaps you feel as though reducing labor costs is easier said than done. Improving the problem areas starts with analyzing your current process. Workflow analysis, Lean initiatives, and value stream mapping are paramount when evaluating the proper processes to perform tasks in a healthcare setting.
3. Skillset Matching
Drive out waste so that all work adds value and serves the customer's needs. For example, if a clinical technologist or physician is doing administrative tasks rather than performing or reading ECG studies (or other diagnostic tests), is that the most effective use of your resources? The art of matching skill sets with the proper procedures, and reducing the number of steps to perform that task within a department is vital to optimization of workflow and reduction of costs to the organization.
4. Leverage Software and Current Healthcare Technologies
How interoperable is your organization? Are you able to get data from your cardiographs or other diagnostic devices seamlessly into your EMR? At Epiphany, we have clinical and workflow-based strategies that align with your organizations’ needs and pressures to reduce costs and provide optimal patient care.
If you are new to ECG management, we are offering to provide a free workflow analysis utilizing the latest in Lean healthcare initiatives and tactics, process flow charting, and business plan development. This analysis will give you a clear understanding of your current process and assist with your ability to diagnose areas for improvement in regards to cost-effectiveness and productivity. The combination of workflow analysis and superior diagnostic data management software will optimize the department’s organization of labor costs and quality of care. Epiphany stands out with a thorough understanding of the current healthcare environment.
 "Cut Labor Costs with Smarter Scheduling." Http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com. Ed. Kelsey Brimmer. Healthcare Finance News, 13 Sept. 2013. Web. 20 Feb. 2014. <http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/research-ties-staffing-sustainablity>.