We’ve written before about what to do when you don’t know what you don’t know. In that situation, we recommend conducting a strategic workshop to take the first step towards achieving operational improvements and enhancements. A workshop will help you decide where you want to go, and once you know your endgame, it’s now time for step 2: a comprehensive assessment.
An assessment is more involved than a strategic workshop, and because of that, it also takes more time. This is a comprehensive, deep dive into an aspect of your organization that needs examination. During an access and intake assessment, for example, we examine the entire patient journey, from the very first touchpoint all the way to payment of the final bill. An assessment uses our experience and understanding of healthcare and the systems within it to make astute observations, but it is also a thorough evaluation of data, analytics, governance, structure, branding, and technology to to understand how all these different moving parts are being utilized and how they interconnect.
Our assessment methodology focuses on examining four discrete but related areas: people, process, technology, and measurement, all within the larger context of your organizational readiness to accept and make changes. Using these areas to guide the assessment allows us to focus on the important parts of the organization, see important patterns and trends, and identify processes and workflows that need upgrading. We focus on process improvement, cost reduction, revenue generation, and risk avoidance for patient access to appointment scheduling, physician referral programs, and patients transferring within the health system. At the conclusion of an assessment, we have the needed information to set the foundation for the design and implementation stages.
An assessment is also important because it tells us whether you’re optimizing and leveraging your existing assets. Simply put, we want to use the investments you have already made. It just makes good sense to do so. By working to understand your organization’s current state, culture, and values through an assessment, we can make recommendations tailored to you, not just parrot what the current trends demand. For example, some organizations might be considering a move to a centralized contact center to handle physician appointment scheduling. For some organizations, centralization would absolutely improve the patient experience. For others, however, standardization in place of centralization would make more sense and cause less of a service disruption while still making care better for patients.
When you look at a map, you can very easily point out your destination. You want to go somewhere. But unless you know where you currently stand, the map does not help you. It cannot tell you whether to travel east or west. An assessment, then, is the big giant “You Are Here” pin on the map. It gives your organization a baseline to work from, and as you start working towards your strategic goals, having that baseline will allow for clear demonstrations of improvements.
So that’s it. Assessments are important to establish your operational baseline and clearly convey your current state, which is why we conduct one for every engagement. Above all else, we want to do what is right for you, and an assessment will reveal how we can do just that.
Contact us to learn more.