Running a healthcare business is very challenging these days. A growing number of healthcare companies are struggling with serious financial accounting problems.
According to Becker Hospital Review, the median hospital operating margin is around 2%. This margin has dropped in recent years due to issues with Covid-19 forcing hospitals to suspend elective surgeries and other procedures that drove a lot of their revenue.
This means that it is more important than ever for healthcare providers to make sound business decisions. They must be informed about the different managerial practices that they have to leverage and apply them wisely.
We have provided five top tips to assist business owners in making informed business decisions to boost revenue and work efficiency while minimizing opportunity costs and wastage of resources. Many of these practices are advisable for all businesses, but they can be especially useful for healthcare organizations. Many of them are applicable to nonprofit hospitals, since they have to worry about generating cash flow even if they aren’t accountable to shareholders.
You can’t afford to make mistakes, especially when running a healthcare business. Therefore, following the following advice is going to be very important.
#1. Exploit The Potential Benefits Of Mass Data from Patient Records and Other Sources
Hospitals are using big data more than ever before. Many healthcare providers are using data to improve patient care. However, it is also important to use data to make better decisions at the organizational level.
There is sufficient data to allow businesses to determine the goods and services their customers are demanding in the modern economy. Data availability means the business can accurately define its products and services to suit customer needs.
It is estimated that there are about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data generated each day. The challenge is not a lack of data to analyze. However, companies find it hard to draw logical conclusions from the huge volumes of data produced with every passing day.
According to Jim Schleckser, a business consultant providing company CEOs with professional advice, quality supersedes quantity when making data-backed business decisions. More data is not necessarily better; in its abundance, it is likely to slow down analysis and decision making in what is commonly referred to as “analysis paralysis”.
To avoid being choked and outdone by too much information, experts advise business owners to exploit the benefits of big data by seeking practical insight amidst the plethora of information at their disposal.
Luckily, there are perfect platforms designed to equip users with data analytics and guide business owners to swiftly arrive at informed and helpful decisions for their business establishments. For example, using the Delphi Consensus method.
Google frequently refers to Endor as a predictive analytics platform. Moreover, it is easy to use and navigate and suitable for any company. One of the main roles of Endor is to convert random data caches to useful and actionable data that helps the business make better decisions at every phase of the business growth cycle.
One word of caution – you must make sure data is used in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. The healthcare sector is required to adhere to HIPAA regulations. You must be cautious about using patient data for anything other than improving patient care or other purposes not approved under HIPAA.
#2 Start Using The Next-Generation Technology In Your Hospital
Hospitals also need to think about ways to use next-generation technology. An example of cutting edge technology with great potential looking into the future is blockchain technology. A lot has been said about blockchain technology, but its potential to enhance quick and better decision making for businesses has not been fully realized.
Blockchain isn’t just useful for technology companies. A number of hospitals have started using blockchain to improve patient care.
Without a doubt, blockchain technology has proved its usefulness in almost all industry sectors of the world economy, helping numerous businesses to arrive at the right decisions for growth and expansion quickly.
For example, many successful supply chain companies rely on the blockchain’s transparency and smart contracts to develop operation insight in every stage of the business supply chain. According to a study by Deloitte, a business can greatly improve supply chain management processes by adopting accurate and transparent tracking of deliveries from the point of dispatch to delivery.
Having accurate business insight is the best catalyst for making reasonable and information-backed decisions needed for business growth. Almost all industries, ranging from the Internet of Things (IoT) to finance, stand to benefit from integrated and decentralized decision-making mechanisms.
#3 Allow Contribution Of Numerous Viewpoints
There are many benefits of decentralizing the decision-making mechanisms in a business institution, even if that business is a hospital. You need to get tips on running the hospital from anyone that might know what they are doing. However, the most prominent advantage is that it helps the shareholders direct business operations using sufficient and relevant data. On top of adopting decentralized technology, other strategies are needed to enhance decision making for a business organization.
According to Mike Kappel, the founding member and the CEO of Patriot Software company, there is plenty of information resource to be harnessed from employees who work and interact with the business customers every day. By constantly talking with the business’s customers, employees are best placed on developing ideas to grow revenues and cut business costs by helping the company deliver what the customers need.
Apart from adopting the right technology, it is best to allow everyone in the business to contribute their ideas and viewpoints on the best way to improve business results.
#4 Study And Understand Patient Expectations
According to Forrester, about 67% of customers refuse to wait longer than two minutes to get a response through customer service. Such statistics have compelled businesses to go for AI-driven chatbots to improve their communication with customers.
You don’t want to think that patients at a hospital can be ignored. They might not have much choice as to what hospital they visit during an emergency. However, they still have flexibility when it comes to getting certain elective treatments, which are crucial to your bottom line. You can’t afford to overlook their needs.
Moreover, a study by Salesforce showed that 53% of service companies have been making plans to undertake chatbot capabilities within the next 1.5 years, while over 10,000 websites were already using this technology to enhance customer interaction.
AI chatbots are extremely good news for decision-makers in many business organizations. They are a source of valuable insight pointing business operations towards the customer’s most pressing needs. In short, AI chatbots are important for anticipating what the business needs to continue growing.
Focusing on customer needs ensures the business can manage its operation costs effectively – a vital component for every profit-maximizing organization.
#5 Understand Employee Professional Tendencies
It is important to take extra steps to monitor employee productivity and safeguard customer data. Using the right software, companies can obtain essential insight to determine the best ways to improve workplace culture and boost employee output. Workplace culture is just as important in a hospital setting as any other business.
An example of such a platform is Teramind. Teramind allows an organization’s staff to provide only the data required for decision making while limiting most forms of employee monitoring. According to a journal from Wall Street, Teramind shows the decision-makers in the business how work processes are executed.
There is a lot of power in information. It does not matter if the data has been obtained from big data sources, the employees, or interaction with the customer. The availability of accurate data is the necessary driving force for good decision making.
Luckily, today’s technological advancement has helped make it easy for business owners to obtain the information and insight they need to improve employee productivity and deliver quality to their customers.
The time is right to improve the decision-making process, and the available technology has made it an easy task for many CEOs.