The Best Health Metrics to Use for Performance Measurement in the Healthcare Industry

Mar 3, 2018

healthcare data analytics

The explosion of data science in the modern world has increased the importance of business intelligence, or BI, in the healthcare industry. The healthcare industry generates a lot of data from patients, processes, tests, research, and operations. It is almost impossible to make sense of such unstructured data without using any relevant business intelligence tools. Furthermore, the healthcare industry can make use of predictive models and data visualization tools to gain insights regarding patient care, labor distribution, clinical operations, and general administration. The overall goal of the healthcare industry is to improve patient care and operational efficiency. Advanced BI software can help companies to achieve such goals by assessing their performance using various health metrics. Using such health metrics for evaluating performance can help single out improvement areas.

Speak with our analytics experts today to know more about health metrics used in the healthcare industry.

Average Hospital Stay

Average hospital stay is often an indicator of efficiency in the healthcare industry. This health metrics measures the average amount of time spent by patients admitted to healthcare facilities. The average length of stay (LOS) is often used as a quality metric by medical reimbursement companies to build a prospective payment system.

Hospital Readmission Rates

Such health metrics measure the number of patients who are readmitted to the healthcare facility shortly after their initial release. The metrics provide critical insight into the quality of care received by the patient at hospitals. Hospitals have to be alarmed when readmission rates rise as it can usually mean a shortage of staff, lack of materials, or point out areas with special needs.

Patient Wait Times

Patient wait time is widely used in the healthcare industry to measure the amount of time needed to receive treatment from the time they entered the healthcare facility. Patient wait time as a health metric is useful in measuring patient contentment as well as hospital efficiency. Higher patient wait time is usually the result of understaffing or poor operational design. Measuring this metric over time enables hospitals to identify trends and redistribute labor to deliver more efficient patient management.

Bed or Room Turnover

In simple terms, health metrics such as a bed or room turnover demonstrate how quickly patients are moving in and out of the facility. From a patient satisfaction perspective, it measures how efficient a hospital is, as a patient does not want to spend more time in the hospital. A high turnover rate depicts that hospitals are very efficient at treating patients. However, when coupling with hospital readmission rates, it can paint a complete picture of whether they are really efficient or patient usually come back with the same problem.

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Average Treatment Charge

The average treatment charge is of the major financial health metrics, which measures the average amount charged by a hospital to provide treatment to a patient. The metrics can be used by the healthcare industry to calculate the overall average or show an average of each treatment category.

Patient to Staff Ratio

There is no hard and fast rule that states that a healthcare facility should achieve a certain number to be effective. The ratio should be ideal since a higher patient to staff ratio will result in higher wait times and low care quality. On the hindsight, a lower patient to staff ratio adds a financial burden to the hospitals and consequently increases the cost of care. It also exhibits administrative inefficiency and calls for hospitals to reconsider labor distribution.

Medication Errors

The healthcare industry is striving hard to lower these health metrics, which measures the number of mistakes made in prescriptions. It also includes mistakes made in dosage and patient and applies both to inpatient and outpatient services.

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