The implementation of a new patient accounting system in 2014 provided an ideal opportunity to revisit and refine historical standards for University of Colorado Medicine (CU Medicine) in Aurora, Colo.
The organization began by implementing productivity standard expectations for short-term and long-term performance, developing a broad range of conservative targets that were provided to staff as goals.
Real-time updates to processes and expectations were included and stabilized within the first several months following system launch. Although nearly 80 percent of employees could meet the upper range of the target, the perception was that quantity was prioritized over quality. To increase overall effectiveness, staff productivity standards were lowered slightly, but all employees were required to perform at higher levels of quality.
Monthly production and quality checks are now carried out to create an overall score that is used to determine the need for coaching for underperformance or rewards for exceeding standards. CU Medicine’s rewards structure allows for extra breaks and flexible working schedules, which leaders cite as a key component to the initiative’s success. Most important, the changes that CU Medicine has implemented have resulted in improved staff efficiency and contributed to improvements in financial performance.