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How To Measure Clinical Success

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Soriah Esquivel

There are many ways to measure clinical success, with each method having their own unique result. That’s why interpreting these varying outcomes can sometimes prove challenging! For example, one patient may view success as regaining the ability to walk up a flight of stairs, while another views success as retaining the ability to stand. So, how can you analyze those differing expectations and turn it into actionable data?

What Is Success?

Although measuring clinical success can be extremely relative, the information you gather from patient outcomes can be utilized to gauge the performance of your practice. But, before you can measure clinical success, you first have to determine what success looks like for your therapy and rehabilitation practice. In order to achieve this, you need to think of the different types of patients you serve and evaluate your strategy for reaching out to each audience. 

For example, you may find researchers measure success in terms of statistical data, such as MCID (or minimally clinically important difference). On the other hand, Medicare has a very different definition and considers an intervention successful when a patient achieves a "functional" outcome, whereas, in the case of a physical therapist, a pain rating of zero on a scale of ten may be their gauge for success.

Patient Outcome Information

Acting on data gathered through patient feedback can have a substantial impact on the quality of care your practice provides. In fact, patient satisfaction can often make up the bulk of what constitutes the overall success of your facility.

Collecting patient data is not only an important part of delivering value-based care, it can also raise awareness to prospective patients on the quality of the services your practice provides! All in all - positive outcome data can showcase your practice’s effectiveness, highlight the value you offer to your patients as well as illustrate your commitment to the community you serve.

Unfortunately, this data is highly subjective and thus difficult to measure. 

Situations That Can Be Measured

As is the nature of success-based data, patient satisfaction can be highly subjective and thus difficult to measure. However, there are options that can provide more objective information for measuring clinical success.

  1. Billing Processes

Revenue cycle management (RCM) generates a large amount of data that you can track. When you track these metrics, you can determine how well your billing processes are performing as well as work toward boosting your profits by strategically monitoring plans of action for measurable growth. Here are a few examples on how you can utilize technology-enabled RCM as a way to track patient satisfaction.

  • Efficiently track the number of days sales outstanding (DSO) 
  • Set a goal of less than 25% of claims remaining in AR over 120 days
  • Track your net collection rate (a rate of 100% is optimum)
  • Monitor the percentage of collections completed at time of service
  • Follow the money by tracking your cash collections regularly
  1. Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics

It's much more efficient to manage the mountain of data that healthcare practices generate when you employ business intelligence (BI) systems as a centralized solution. Providers and administrators who leverage BI in conjunction with analytic software have the ability to track key performance indicators (KPIs), patient outcomes and so much more! Listed below are a few examples of how BI and analytics can bolster care and operations in a clinical setting:

  • Analyze visit metrics such as no-shows, dropouts or cancellations
  • Identify patterns and trends in financial data reports
  • Monitor patient satisfaction rates and improve outcomes
  • Determine target audiences for engagement campaigns 
  • Meet the evolving demands of the therapy and rehab market 
  • Streamline plans of care through early detection of diseases
  1. Patient Feedback and Satisfaction

Patient feedback is subjective, but that doesn't make it irrelevant. Instead, the quality of the information obtained often depends on the timeliness of engagement (i.e. survey, questionnaire etc.), with the best chance for patient responses being as soon as possible, whether it be upon patient registration, appointment confirmation or even post discharge. By creating these touchpoints throughout the entirety of your patient's journey, you'll be better able to communicate in real-time via email blasts and text notifications. Learn more about the capabilities of our Connect engagement platform here

  1. Data-Driven Automation

Increasing your practice's profitability and productivity is a more objective way to improve clinical success and with the help of automation, it can be much easier than manually fielding patient feedback! Some of the benefits of data-driven automation include: 

  1. Post-Outcome Engagement

One of the steps in measuring the clinical success of your practice is engaging with your patients in the post-outcome phase. This fosters greater patient accountability as well as improves public perception of your healthcare practice by collecting data on patient outcomes and offering insights into value-based care. 

At the end of the day, the success of your clinical practice lies in the eye of the beholder (or the hand of the patient answering your post-outcome questionnaire!). If you're looking for ways to improve your practice:

  • automate your engagement tools as a way to gather quick and easy patient feedback
  • proactively follow up with patients throughout their entire journey
  • utilize BI and analytics to monitor objective data and/or identify financial trends

Need help getting started? Learn more about our automated engagement, revenue cycle management and business intelligence tools that can help you more effectively track your clinic's success!

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