4 Hospital Industry Metrics You Should Be Monitoring (And Why)

DashboardFox - Healthcare Metrics

The hospital industry has a four-fold mandate: improving population health, enhancing individuals’ care experience, reducing per capita healthcare cost, and attaining joy in work (for staff) or pursuing healthcare equity or readiness

The fourth aim changes according to the hospital’s specific objectives. Improving outcomes is a complex process because there are hundreds of metrics and KPI data to be interpreted. These complexities can be managed by understanding nuances and establishing the essential outcomes where you are.

This article highlights four essential and easily-trackable metrics for the hospital industry. For each metric, you will understand its importance, average values, and how to improve it. Read to learn more.

1. Operating Margin

The operating margin gives information on the amount of revenue in the hospital once operating costs are deducted. Operating costs include the purchase of equipment and supplies, marketing expenses, rent, and wages. The average operating margin stands at 2.7 percent; a higher value indicates better financial health.

It is vital to have a strong operating margin as the hospital should sustain its fixed expenses like interest on debt. This ratio also tells you your earnings per dollar of revenue earned.

2. Average Length of Stay

This KPI measures the amount of time a patient stays in the hospital from admission to discharge. You can track both inpatient and outpatient metrics and even separate them according to departments in the facility.

The average length of stay is between 4-6 days in the hospital industry, with slight variations according to the size of the hospital. This is an essential metric because it measures the efficiency of hospital services. It may also contribute to financial performance – longer stays result in higher treatment costs.

You want to shorten patient stays because more extended stays increase the risk of hospital-acquired infections and may lead to higher patient mortality numbers. This must be considered in context – patients must not be discharged too early to their detriment. For example, heart failure patients may have lower mortality rates with short stays, but the result is higher readmission rates.

3. Time to Service

This metric determines the time taken from arrival to receiving patient care, including time taken to see a nurse or doctor for vitals monitoring.

According to a TEC-N report from May 2018, a patient spends 281 minutes before in the ED before admission (inpatient) and 140 minutes before going home (outpatient). It takes 20 minutes before a doctor or nurse sees them.

This key performance indicator highlights the ability of a facility to offer prompt service to patients. It relates to patient satisfaction rates may even impact patient mortality rates – faster service often leads to better outcomes.

4. Hospital Incidents

Hospital incidents KPI measures a hospital’s ability to offer quality care without incidents. Incidents are unintended consequences of hospital services such as postoperative complications, bedsores, hospital-acquired infections, reactions to transfusions, etc.

Therefore, this metric measures the ability to offer high-quality care without triggering adverse reactions. It provides insight into the quality of care the facility can offer and gives hard data on where there is a need for improvement.

The incident rate also has financial implications, as incidents are more likely to end in malpractice lawsuits that cost the hospital money.

Key Takeaways

There are many more metrics that highlight the performance of its operations, finances, capacity, and patient care. In fact, the biggest problem in the hospital industry is the abundance of data that should determine overall performance and service delivery.

Just like other businesses, it is vital for a hospital to determine its main objectives. Based on objectives, you must specify the most important metrics that help you achieve both your mandate and business goals.

The key performance indicator data analysis must be interpreted in relation to objectives. You can measure the underlying leading indicators driving your most important metrics. Following the indicators helps to add meaning to your metric and hence find ways to improve it.

How Can DashboardFox Help?

DashboardFox provides a cost-effective solution to converting the data that is generated in all aspects of the hospital industry, from:

  • IT system such as inventory, change management, to help desk
  • Accounting data from ERP, financial tools, spreadsheets
  • Electronic health/Patient record (EHR/EPR) systems
  • Operations systems from internally developed applications, Human Capital systems, Program Management Office systems
  • any many more

When there is data stored in a database or in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or CSV file, DashboardFox provides a self-service way to convert that data into actionable dashboards and reports.

DashboardFox has a few key characteristics that are specifically friendly to the hospital industries, such as:

Self-hosted. You install DashboardFox on your server, behind your firewall. No 3rd party access or security concerns.

Perpetual License. In the hospital industry, the IT budget is very focused. With DashboardFox you don’t have to add to your cash flow/subscription payment headache. Buy once, and optionally you can renew maintenance at a deep discount.

Lower Cost of Operations. Other BI tools require a lot of technical resources and have a lot of moving parts to keep running. DashboardFox has a very small footprint, a simple architecture, and the administration doesn’t require you to have a technical pedigree.

Contact Us To Discuss Your Requirements

The best way to know if DashboardFox will work in your environment is to talk to one of our technical experts (not a high-pressured sales call). Click here to contact us or you can request a live demo here.

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