Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Relevance of business data for hospitals

Recently there was an article on CNN Money and it aptly highlighted that “physicians are poor businesspeople”. The article can be accessed using this link

You would have noticed that most consulting doctors rely a lot on laboratory and radiology reports to correctly diagnose a patient’s health problem. Once the problem has been identified, they follow a line of treatment, keep a track of patient’s progress and make adjustments in treatment or prescriptions to finally achieve the desired medical outcomes. Isn’t it a very objective way to approach a problem?

Well, the answer is a Yes. What the CNN Money’s article highlights is another aspect to the way physicians run their clinics or hospitals. They are not very smart businesspeople, or in my own definition, they are not very good money managers. But why only doctors, even hospital administrators aren’t any better.
Healthcare facilities create tons of business data every day, but unfortunately they lack the systems and processes to collect and analyze this data to help efficient and effective business decision making. A simple analysis of the monthly revenue per doctor would tell you about the doctors who are not performing upto the expectations of the management. Once the reason for the poor showing is diagnosed, there is a certainty that there will be a positive impact on overall revenue of the healthcare facility. The analysis can be simple or they can be complex, but the point worth noting is that the data is very well available inside the facility. It only takes an effort to create systems to collect data in a systematic fashion and analyze the same to bring out business insights. From our own experience we have seen significant improvements in financial performance of hospitals once they focused on the right data and started analyzing it.

1 comment:

  1. Healthcare as well know has become a service industry like any other these days. A healthcare service or for a consult for the matter of fact is considered a commodity we pay for. And this is the reason why healthcare has also been enlisted under the CPI.

    Well what i just said is no new news for the readers as it is fact that i have stated.
    Coming to the point that “physicians are poor business-people” is a discussion that i think always ends with an open question. Hospitals have been classified to be of various sorts and types, it's the decision of a hospital to be a bussiness oriented fraternity or not.But then again when the "commodity" that we speak of here is dealing with human-life,for what it's worth i don't think a doctor generally cares about the revenue or business when it comes to patients. It's the managements resposibilty to look after all that and then therby bring in the doctors into the scenario for the same.

    So, i think it's absolutely not something a doctor would care about and even if they did it would be one in a 1000 cases.

    And i speak of this as someneone who has met a quite a few doctors and they are pretty much opinionated about it.

    But what you have suggested of a thorough analysis, now that is something very critical and admirable. And if done with grace, involving both the management and the doctors, the results can be good.