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Data-Driven Decision-Making for Independent Doctors

For far too long, private practice physicians and dentists have faced an uphill climb as business owners. While intuition certainly plays a part in our everyday decision-making, it really should take a back seat to data analysis as it applies to building your practice. After all, as doctors, you would likely refrain from diagnosing a patient with a serious illness based solely on what your gut is telling you. You understand the science behind not simply running tests but analyzing the results to reach a definitive conclusion. That process is what gives you confidence in your findings and empowers you to relay the news to your patients. Data-driven decision-making for your practice works in much the same way.

What is data-driven decision-making? It is commonly known as the process of making organizational decisions based on actual data rather than intuition or observation alone. When it comes to embracing this approach in the business of healthcare, independent doctors within a small practice are at a massive disadvantage. Technology has been limited in its ability to streamline data-driven decision-making for the operational side of medicine; that is, until now. DataDx has created software that facilitates a conversation between your financial, clinical and operational systems, so you can access all of your data in real-time. Data-driven decision-making  has become a powerful tool in various industries world-wide and now that technology is finally accessible to independent doctors with little time outside of patient care. While the positive implications of this may seem obvious, let’s get into it further.

Introducing Data-Driven Decision Making

As scientists, you already understand the significance of research and data as it applies to practicing medicine. Caring for your patients took many years of study followed by many more years of gaining practical knowledge. It makes sense that your ultimate focus should be on the people who come to you for help. The only problem is you also have a business to run in your rather limited “spare time.” Complicating matters further for independent physicians and dentists is the process necessary to gather your own data from various systems in order to utilize it in a meaningful way.

Creating legible all-inclusive reports has become an administrative nightmare because there is a communication disconnect between the many IT platforms which keep track of patient procedures, insurance payors, billing, accounting, payroll, and a multitude of other data points. Not only is having to manually type in values from various stand-alone reports into a massive spreadsheet where calculations and comparisons can be made an extremely tedious task, it’s also incredibly time-consuming. Any amount of time your staff spends on old-school data entry means paid labor that could have otherwise gone toward more productive tasks. Most independent medical practices who understand why data-driven decision-making is important spend anywhere from 30-40 labor hours per month creating their own reports with limited comparative value. Generally, the data is weeks if not months old and minimal in scope. Even though they are doing the best they can with the mainstream technological tools and spreadsheets available, they still find themselves struggling to make sense of their own data.

Large healthcare entities have the luxury of employing teams of people who make this chore seem effortless to their leadership groups who understand the importance of data-driven decision-making. Not only do they enjoy more advanced technology specifically designed for them, but they also have the capacity to develop their own sophisticated IT solutions with budgets substantially larger than their private counterparts. That leaves independent practitioners to fend for themselves so they often  default to “intuition-driven” choices instead. This is a big part of why smaller practices have faced growing challenges for maintaining their independence in recent years. Having to rely on how you “feel” about a certain idea is no way to run any business, especially a medical organization competing with institutional healthcare systems. Before you fall into a pit of dread thinking about this dismal reality, we have a data-driven decision-making solution for you.

The DataDx Approach

From the outset DataDx was designed by a team of healthcare professionals who experienced first-hand the unsustainable lack of access to thorough practice data. Our motivation has always been to level the playing field for private healthcare organizations so they can leverage the same level of sophisticated analytics that large corporate entities do. What that means for you as an independent medical provider is you and your team finally have access to software uniquely tailored to streamline your practice management. We have accomplished this by developing a cloud-based platform that connects you to all your data sources, providing your practice with its own targeted real-time analytics. Our ultimate goal is to make data-driven decision-making the norm for private practice physicians and dentists, rather than the exception.

A few of the many features we included are:

  • Creating a way for financial, operational and patient care platforms to interact with each other to produce more complete and sophisticated reports.
  • A portal easily accessible by doctors or administrators with clear graphs and visuals so they can understand their business in minutes, not months.
  • The capacity to cross-reference data points for quick comparative analysis so any operational question can be answered right away.
  • Access more inclusive expense data so medical providers can see where their practice is over-spending or how they might invest better in the future.
  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to filter through the noise in your organization’s data and make sure it’s dependable and delivered in real-time.

These technological attributes and many more empower independent healthcare organizations to make data-driven decisions just like insurance and hospital-based providers do. Private doctors have been engaged in an underlying battle they may or may not be focused on because their days are absorbed in patient care. Large medical entities have had years of data-driven decision-making at their disposal which has given them an advantage over independent doctors. This has paved the way for health systems to grow while private practices struggle to stay autonomous in their patient care. DataDx has seen the trends that tell us consolidation of healthcare providers into a single corporate entity does nothing to drive down the price of care. In fact, it creates market dominance where big business controls price points by limiting competition and can increase patient costs by 20 to 40 percent on average; up to 65 percent in some regions[1] . We believe maintaining the independence of physicians and dentists with an interactive data-driven decision-making platform helps them provide better care at lower costs for patients, all the while increasing their practice revenues. Our focus is on supporting doctors, so doctors can better support patients.

Example

Our consulting team worked with a popular gastrointestinal clinic who for many months debated opening a new location in a neighboring suburban area. The idea was not spawned from any data analysis but rather based on a trend they saw happening with their peers at other similar clinics, and they didn’t want to be left behind. With the help of our DataDx platform, we were able to demonstrate projections on the expense of opening a new facility based on their current operating costs. Our team was also able to show them what percentage of their patient panel already included those neighboring zip codes, which was more significant than they had realized. Additionally, we conducted an interview with every physician and determined that they were, by and large, not interested in traveling the extra distance to see patients. Nor were they happy about the extra hours they’d have to put in. The clinic deliberated the option of hiring a separate care team, but then the question of how that might negatively impact their company culture was raised. Ultimately, they were able to utilize data-driven decision-making, rather than defaulting to a “gut feeling”. This enabled them to choose not to open a new clinic that nobody really wanted and wouldn’t have generated the substantial growth to account for the 3-million-dollar investment. Instead, they opted to invest in a marketing campaign to bring more patients from neighboring communities to their existing facility and streamline operations to put that debate behind them.

Our Step-by-Step Approach

Once you’ve chosen to take advantage of DataDx software for data-driven decision-making, we will help guide the process from there.

Our team of experts will:

  • Set Strategy Goals – The first step of any decision-making process is to identify goals that compliment your overall mission and design a strategy to achieve them. Our process will help you pinpoint your goals and develop a plan of action for your practice’s success.
  • Choose the Right Metrics – Once you’ve settled on your strategy and goals, we will help you choose the best metrics to facilitate them. To achieve success your objectives should be measurable and verifiable, and our team can guide you towards metrics designed to further those goals.
  • Manage Performance – Every performance plan needs ongoing management and continuous reassessment to ensure it is delivering accountability to execute efficiently. Our team will continue to manage your DataDx platform to make certain the data is supporting your goals properly.
  • Enact Cultural Changes – It's difficult to benefit from data-driven decision-making without developing habits of engagement and a sense of ownership among your team. We will train you and your staff how to utilize our software for collaboration and to gain every forward business advantage it offers in becoming your own engine for growth and innovation.

From start to finish, DataDx will do everything possible to empower your practice to remain autonomous through data-driven decision-making. Our platform will reveal a clearer pathway to increasing revenue with reliable analytics you can understand immediately.

About DataDx

DataDx is a company born from a team of professionals with decades of experience in various departments within the healthcare industry. Over our many years of advising and managing medical organizations, we saw significant gaps in their ability to access real-time analytics for decision-making. Our Founder, Kate Othus, had a vision of better software combined with targeted consulting services filling in those missing pieces to help independent physicians, dentists, and their patients thrive. As a company, DataDx has created a massive resource for healthcare leaders to plan for tomorrow based on accurate data today. We offer the most cutting-edge cloud-based software in the medical environment that makes data-driven decision making more accessible for independent practices.

DataDx exists to provide real-time analytics that empower you to manage your practice with information you can believe in.

FAQ

What is Data-Driven Decision-Making?

Data-driven decision-making is the process of using data to make organizational decisions without having to rely on intuition.

Why is Data-Driven Decision-Making good for my practice?

Data-driven decision-making is good for your practice because it gives you trustworthy analytics to help you plan strategically for your business.

[1]
https://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2021/03/24/hospital-mergers-patient-burdens-monopolies-policy.html

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