Even as managed equipment services (MES) is changing how healthcare facilities access and pay for medical technology, the next big disruptor on the horizon is the use of big data. Like MES, big data has the potential to vastly improve various aspects of health care. In addition to patient care, it offers operational efficiency, productivity, and profitability.
A central command center, for example, allows leaders and managers to quickly assess the utilization and productivity of their assets, and adjust their strategy accordingly. At Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital in Texas, high demands for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were causing operational bottlenecks in the imaging department. An in-depth review and extensive data analysis showed that operational inefficiencies were hampering profitability. The hospital redesigned the MRI workflow to shift non-imaging-related duties to non-technologists, reducing exam slots from 45 to 30 minutes. By adding capacity for two additional exams a day for the hospital’s two scanners, the hospital performed 1,000 more each year and add $1.2 million in revenue.
In another example, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center configured its software to gain a comprehensive view of its revenue cycle activities. Using that knowledge, the center was able to increase automation for duplicative processes and streamline employee workflows. The results included an increase in the co-pay rate to more than 80 percent from under 60 percent, automation of 95 percent of indigent-care billing, a 50 percent reduction in paper costs, and an improved bond rating that reflected improved financial stability.
See related article: Managing the Cost of Technology in a Disruptive Era