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How to Become a Metrics-Driven Behavioral Health Organization

How to Become a Metrics-Driven Behavioral Health Organization

As regulators, payors, and policies push behavioral health toward value-based care, providers will be pressured to measure and monitor outcomes. At its core, value-based care incentivizes clinical quality and cost-effective care delivery. But achieving success requires analytic capabilities that, to date, are limited across the behavioral health provider landscape. Talk To Our Experts

In this guide, we discuss how your behavioral health treatment facility can become a metrics-driven organization and why it is important to start collecting and analyzing data across the treatment journey to help you prepare for value-based reimbursement and drive operational improvements under today’s fee-for-service model.

How to Evolve into a Metrics-Driven Behavioral Health Organization

Becoming a metrics-driven organization that makes decisions based on data analytics and facts does not happen overnight. If you want to transform your facility into a thriving care center that helps patients on the path to recovery and keeps your clinicians and staff engaged, you can take several steps to make the change. We discuss leadership engagement and expectation setting, how to choose your tracked metrics, diagnosing and fixing issues quickly, how to drive innovation, the specialized training you can offer, and how to make data analytics a central part of your behavioral health organization.

Start with Leadership Engagement and Expectation Setting

Becoming a data-driven organization begins with your managers and executives, who must set clear expectations about your facility becoming “anchored in data” and using data to make informed decisions. Leading by example is one of the most important things your leadership can do, encouraging your staff to use data in their decision-making processes. When the leaders of your behavioral health organization set expectations in this clear manner and act on them, your staff will see your new culture and ideals in action and begin to internalize them. When you make changes from the top and lead by example, it can result in major shifts in organization-wide behaviors and norms and become a catalyst for change in your organization.

Choose Your Metrics Wisely

The metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) you choose to track can make all the difference in how useful your data is when making informed decisions and driving change.

Example KPIs to Track and Measure

  • Bed Utilization: For facilities with an inpatient setting, how your average bed utilizaiton is trending can tell you about patient volumes, seasonality, and show clear trends in the number of patients within your facility.
  • Time Appointment/Admission: If your patients are experiencing extended wait times, this could be a sign of a deeper underlying problem caused by a lack of staffing or inadequate scheduling.
  • Overall Patient Satisfaction: Surveying your patients and asking them for feedback is one of the most important things a behavioral health facility can do. Your patients see their visits differently than you or your staff, and they may have valuable feedback you can implement.
  • Incident Reports: If an increasing number of incident reports are logged, you can use this data trend to analyze the root cause. Having KPIs like incident reports can help you catch critical problems early.
  • Internal Training by Department: Are all your internal departments getting adequate training? By tracking the number of training sessions each department receives, you can tell where your staff are undertrained or receiving excessive training.
  • Insurance Claim Costs and Processing Times: Tracking insurance claim costs and processing times can show you the playing field from a bird’s-eye view so you can adjust and optimize where necessary.
  • Claims Denial Rate: Are an increasing number of insurance claims being denied? If so, a systemic underlying issue, or user error, might be the cause.
  • Staff Wages: Tracking all your staffs’ wages and how they compare to the local job market can help ensure staff happiness and reduce turnover or competitors poaching staff.

Choosing your metrics wisely and tracking them meticulously is key to making informed decisions in your behavioral health facility and ensuring you catch any problems, errors, or major issues before they have a chance to grow into bigger problems.

Diagnose and Fix Data Issues Rapidly

When your organization relies on data to make informed decisions and optimize your operations, workflows, and processes, it is important that you use reliable data to drive decision making. Make sure your data feeds are reliable and stay online. If any issues crop up, take the time to fix them as soon as possible. To move your organization to a data-driven model, you will need to assess your data infrastructure, how data is collected and organized, and the best ways to visualize your data to drive action.  Doing so will create a seamless transition into a data-driven culture at your organization and allow you to be more efficient in providing positive patient outcomes and making your staff happy and satisfied with their work.

Create the Space to Innovate

Depending on the level of data your organization requires, you may need to hire or incorporate data science resources to analyze trends and come up with predictive models that take into account seasonality, patients, and various other metrics. Data scientists have capabilities beyond typical analysts and can mine complex, large data sets to power decision making and growth. Large organizations may choose to employ data scientists. Others may elect to leverage data science capabilities offered through vendor relationships. Whatever the model, remember to give the data science team room to innovate and develop solutions and opportunities for your business. Part of a data scientist’s job is to uncover hidden patterns and trends. Providing the space to experiment and test data hypotheses will help you realize the highest value from your data science investment.

Offer Specialized Training

Now that your organization has chosen to become data-driven, what does this mean for your staff who only had limited data to drive decision making based on trends, incident reports, and other metrics? The answer is that they will require specialized training to get accustomed to making informed decisions from data and do so in an effective manner. Set up training programs for your staff who will be most closely connected to your data feeds and the decision-making process. They need to understand their new responsibilities and know exactly what to do when making a decision based on the data and metrics you mine from your operations.

Make Data and Analytics a Core Part of Your Operations

Once you’ve gone through all the steps above, you should begin to see your behavioral health facility transform into a data-driven organizationand see your efficiency and productivity trend up over time. Without data, you aren’t able to catch problems or make optimizations early in the process. By making data and analytics a core part of your operations, you will set yourself up for success and start on the path to becoming a leading health-care provider in your area.

Use Sunwave Health to Implement Data Analytics in Your Organization

If you’re interested in implementing data and analytics into your behavioral health facility, the Sunwave Health platform is one of the best ways to do so. To learn more about how your organization can benefit from using the Sunwave Health platform to transition to a data-driven culture, schedule a demo with one of our experts today.