Call Accounting Means Analytics Power for Healthcare
May 17, 2017
By Steve Anderson, Contributing Writer
Big data analytics, or any analytics program in general, has become something of a hot-button issue of late, a buzzword that gets attention but isn't always readily understood. Looking closer at the concept makes it clear that analytics can be valuable, but only work when the process has enough information to consider. In order to get that information, call accounting can be a huge help here, as revealed by ISI Telemanagement.
Big data analytics deliver a lot of added value for businesses, and healthcare is really no different in that it too must function like a business—considering issues of profitability and the like—in order to survive as an ongoing operation. However, some options are limited, as healthcare has a particular susceptibility to negative press. Big data operations, meanwhile, often provide ways to add value that don't add the risk of bad press to the picture, and using call accounting systems can help.
By analyzing the produce of call accounting systems, which can track incoming and outgoing calls along with text messages, conferences, video calls and pretty much any breed of outgoing communication short of semaphore, the necessary fodder is in place to conduct analysis and determine trends. It's important to include the fullest picture, though, so call accounting is a good start. Including the full communications activity record is even better.
While communications activity records provide useful insight at the simplest level—who talked to who when and for how long—these records can also provide insight on things like patient readmission rates, a point vital to consider in terms of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. Such reimbursements are a huge part of healthcare operations' operating budgets. Factors like post-surgical calls can affect the patient readmission rate, as can the time spent on hold and number of abandoned calls going to major hospital operations.
Further, the use of call accounting systems can help track the effectiveness of telehealth systems and how this compares to in-office visits. Much has been made of the potential associated with telehealth, but can it really result in more patient throughput and better outcomes? Only having detailed information on hand will determine.
Thus, spotting inefficiencies in certain areas, and addressing these accordingly, can have a big impact on the bottom line. The necessary analysis of other points like telehealth can also help healthcare operations spot opportunities alongside of faults. The basic standard of profitability can be improved by one of three measures: reduce expenses, increase revenue, or do both at the same time. Using call accounting tools can help provide value on both expense and revenue, so using these systems will be vital going forward.
Edited by Alicia Young