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You already know that outcomes data is important—and it’s becoming more important by the day as our healthcare system continues to shift from a fee-for-service model to a pay-for-performance one. And if you’ve read this post, this one, or this one, you already know the best ways to implement outcomes data collection in your practice. But, do you know how to use your outcomes data to your advantage—to ensure you’re getting the very best return on your outcomes data investment? You will after reading this post. Here are four must-know strategies for proving the ROI of your outcomes data collection:
1. Prevent patients from bailing on therapy before their treatment is complete.
No one wants to see their patients missing appointments—or worse, disappearing completely only partway through their course of treatment. In most cases, this type of non-compliance doesn’t bode well for a patient’s physical health—or the financial health of your practice. With patient-reported outcomes data, though, there’s a way to get ahead of the problems that cause patients to leave—whatever those might be—and fix them before your patients become unresponsive and you lose out on the payment you were hoping to receive. After all, you’ll already have all the patient satisfaction data you need right at your fingertips. Then, using outcomes software that presents that data in an easy-to-understand way, you can identify the patients who are anything but completely satisfied with their services—and address their concerns directly. Say hello to happier patients and a better bottom line.
2. Ensure your performance is top-notch—at both the clinic and therapist level.
You can use outcomes data to track a number of important things, including how your clinic—and therapists—are performing across the board and by individual test. By rolling up all of your data into a high-level summary, you’ll know if, for example, one test is showing a lower percentage of change than the others—in which case you could schedule a clinic-wide training or bring on a staff member with specific knowledge in the area in which your team is lacking. This level of detail can also be incredibly helpful when it comes to completing objective performance reviews. After all, you’ll know exactly where each member of your staff stands. From there, you can set concrete goals—say, a specific percentage increase on a particular test—by which to measure future performance.
3. Better market your services directly to patients and referrers.
With a solid outcomes data collection game plan, you’ll know exactly how your clinic is stacking up to the national average for each test. Then, you can use this data—which essentially conveys how much time and money your patients save by receiving treatment in your clinic instead of anyone else’s—to better market yourself to potential patients and referral sources.
And even if you don’t land at the top of the heap, you’ll know exactly where you have room for improvement—and that can be a huge motivator for you and your staff members to kick it into gear. You could also use this information strategically: for example, if you see that your therapists are knocking it out of the park for low back pain patients, but are barely reaching par for treating shoulder injuries, then you could concentrate your marketing efforts on bringing in more low back pain patients while simultaneously working to improve your shoulder programs. Now, that’s what we call leveraging your strengths.
4. Boost referrals and negotiate better payer contracts.
Chances are good that you became a therapist to help people—and there’s really nothing more important than that. With the right outcomes software, you’ll be able to not only view—but also showcase—the value of the care you provide your patients. In other words, you’ll be able to quantify your patients’ improvement by visit. You’ll even be able to further filter your data to acquire referrer or payer-specific statistics that you can use to increase your referrals and enhance your payer contracts. Talk about a solid way to definitively prove the value of PT—and generate more patients (and payments) in the process.
Before you implement any of these strategies, though, be sure to get baseline measurements for each (e.g., how many patients stop therapy early, how you stack up against the national averages, and how many referrals you generate each month). Then, monitor your clinic’s progress at consistent intervals—say, every six months or once a quarter. That way, you’ll know that any changes to these metrics—and your bottom line—are directly related to your outcomes collection initiatives, thus proving your outcomes data collection is worth its weight in gold.
Wondering how you can view and track all this juicy outcomes data in WebPT? Check out this post to learn more.