Most of us drive a car every day. Every time we get into our cars to go to work, the store or just to enjoy a scenic road trip, we trust our cars will get us there and back. Why do we have this sense of security?
Every car comes with a dashboard full of lights and gauges that measure performance and monitor key systems of the car. If all the gauges and lights show the car is operational and safe, we have the confidence that we will get to our destination efficiently and safely.
While we operate the vehicle, we don’t stare at the dashboard waiting for one of the many gauges or lights to let us know when something is not operating correctly. We drive the car with confidence until one of the many indicators shows us that something is not performing correctly.
Just like the car we drive every day, our businesses have key indicators that must be monitored and minded for optimal function. In most cases though, our cars' dashboards are minded more frequently than our business's. (It might have something to do with that fact the car’s performance indicators are easily displayed and alert us in real time when there’s an issue.) Most of the time, business key performance indicators are only looked at once a month when financials are published and only then does leadership start asking questions about how to fix something that happened last month.
News flash! Last month can’t be fixed. It is done. It is over.
To compound the issue, by the time financials are published and the questions are being asked, it's already 2-3 weeks into the next month. The check engine light has been on for a while now. To say the least, this isn’t good for the engine.
What gauges and lights do you have to measure the performance of your agency? Are these gauges timely, relevant and as easy to access as your car dashboard gauges? Many home health and hospice agencies do not have gauges in place that measure the performance of their agencies in real time. In the home health and hospice world we need to use Business Intelligence (BI) mechanisms to keep our finger on the pulse of our business's health. BI can be defined as:
A technology-driven process for analyzing data and presenting actionable information to help executives, managers and other corporate end users make informed business decisions.
In this day of doing more with less, having dashboards and information readily available is a requirement and trait of successful companies. These BI dashboards and reports measure actual performance to budgeted performance which is key to identifying possible shortfalls before the current period of measurement is over. Seeing this information in real time allows for corrective actions to be implemented in a timelier manor.
Homecare Homebase (HCHB) customers have BI tools readily available. In my experience though, most home health and hospice agencies underutilize their EMR's analytics capabilities. Many say it's because the readily available reports aren't an exact fit for their agency. The good news is, at Maxwell we know HCHB inside and out and we have hands on home health and hospice business experience. We’re uniquely positioned to help ensure you get the tailored analysis you need to fine tune your business processes.
I've helped handfulls of agencies customize HCHB's Business Analyzer BI tools. The results are always transformative. It's because when you leverage these real time reports, you're equipped with a mirror--a tool that reflects precisely what's going on in your organization without any subjectivity. Sometimes you might not like what you see at first glance, but only with that realistic assessment can you pinpoint areas for improvement and then track your progress.
In one agency, the customized dashboards I helped create highlighted the fact that 50% of the visiting staff was underperforming. This was surprising to everyone on leadership. Without the report they would never have imagined they had a performance issue. When team members underperform it's a direct hit to an agency's bottom line. By exposing the pitfall, creating a plan to fix it and then tracking it, we improved team member performance dramatically and improved revenues.
At another agency, after one year of holding ourselves accountable with customized Business Analyzer dashboards, our profit margin increased from 1% to 18%. While we can't responsibly assume the jump was entirely due to leveraging dashboards, it's fair to say establishing KPIs, measuring them consistently and holding folks accountable to them is powerful.
Don't just take it from me. We reached out to one of our amazing large hospice provider clients and this is what the chief operating officer had to say:
“Deryll and the MHA team have changed our use of HCHB Analytics and dashboards. He continues to deliver detailed HCHB Analytics reports that help us operate our business at the branch leader level not just at the corporate level. Having access to the data moves decisions from theory to reality. He understands our business and can quickly create what we request.”
-Large hospice provider's COO
The power of analytics is in their objectivity and transparency. When you have the power to examine your business based on real time numbers and facts that everyone can see, you can move mountains. I've seen it happen time and time again.
Driving your car without a dashboard doesn’t seem like a good idea—yet, many home health and hospice agencies are doing exactly that. Maxwell Healthcare Associates offers detailed training, creation and optimization of home health and hospice dashboards. We have programs for beginners and experts alike.
If you're looking to enhance your processes by better understanding the data being created, we have your solution. Reach out to us at [email protected] to schedule an overview of our programs.