What every CHC leader should (but often can't) track

What every CHC leader should (but often can't) track

Running an FQHC requires making difficult and complicated operational decisions. And making those decisions relies on an understanding of the organization’s “current-state”. As we’ve spoken to CHC CEOs and COOs, we’ve heard a few common, “current-state” questions:

·       Which of my locations are under or overutilized?

·       Which specialty is oversubscribed and likely needs another provider?  

·       Who are the providers that I need to support so they’re able to fill out their schedule?

These are hard questions to answer because leaders can’t just look at volume of visits. Each provider has a specific number of available slots in a week, so to compare visit volume across providers is to compare apples to oranges. But wrestling with them is critical - we've found that groups that track and manage utilization on a daily and weekly basis have seen financial improvements of ~$1.5M (for a $30M group).

Let’s look at a simple example…

We have two nurse practitioners - Appleby and Jackson – both of whom work in Pediatrics. They both have 20 available appointment slots each day, for a total of 100 per week. However, Jackson’s contract has her off on Mondays, leaving with her 80 available slots for the week.

And we have one doctor – Smith – who works in the OB/GYN department. Given the nature of her work, she has 12 available slots per day, for a total of 60 per week.

By visit volume, Appleby is the busiest provider. But adjusting for availability, we see that she is the least utilized, and in fact Dr. Smith is the most utilized! While all the providers have good-to-high utilization, Dr. Smith is stretched somewhat thin. We’d want to think about providing her additional support to avoid burnout.

How are organizations tracking this today? Historically, there haven’t been great solutions to track provider utilization. EHR systems often don’t have information on provider availability, so they can’t display utilization.

The primary solution we’ve seen employed is spreadsheets. CHC leaders have asked their analysts to sift through reams of provider data, run calculations in spreadsheets, and then generate Tableau reports. This can be very time-consuming and difficult for even the best and least encumbered analyst.

Streamline has developed an automated platform to allow CHC leaders to track and manage their utilization on a daily basis, while freeing the analyst from spreadsheets and manual reports. This means leaders can spend their time making key operational decisions and supporting their team, not on wrangling data

Our process is straightforward. We partner with your analyst to understand your provider’s availability. We then process a single, raw file from your EHR to understand visit volume and no-show rates. We pair the provider availability data with the visit volume data to populate the platform. This platform is automatically updated each day for you and your team, and we stand by as a partner to provide any ongoing support you may need.

In a matter of a few weeks, we can stand up your platform, so you and your team can begin tracking and managing your most important operational metric: provider utilization. Send us a message, if you're interested - we'd love to show you a demo!

Charlie Drain
Co-Founder and CEO

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