Healing Healthcare Inefficiencies

By Aspect and Healthcare Intelligence

Patient-centered care is taking hold in this country as health systems switch from volume-based to value-based, patient-centered models. This model can only work when everyone comes together to create greater efficiencies through economies of scale.

Economies of scale are the cost advantages that a health system achieves by expanding their scale of operations. The effect reduces the average cost of production while increasing outputs (Investopedia, 2015). On a broad scale – assume you work in a small clinic and are considering printing a marketing brochure promoting your new staff. The printer quotes a price of $1000 for 100 brochures, and $1,500 for 200 copies. While 100 brochures will cost you $10 per brochure, 200 will only cost you $7.50. In this case, the printer is passing on part of the cost advantage of printing a larger number of brochures to you. This cost advantage arises because the printer has the same initial set-up cost regardless of whether the number of brochures printed is 100 or 200. Once these costs are covered, there is only a marginal extra cost for printing each additional brochure” (Investopedia, 2015).

How do economies of scale apply to a healthcare contact center? Just like any other organization, health systems aim to reduce waste and costs (unused or under-utilized appointments), improve encounters (patient satisfaction), and access to appointments (resource availability). Establishing economies of scale means understanding your clinician’s competencies and ability to cover multiple disciplines. The results of this research can be transferred to Aspect’s Unified IP skill-based routing module. Through skills-based routing, patients are empowered to reach the right office and department at first point of contact.  Skills-based routing creates subject matter experts who maintain service levels and reduce patient abandon rates.

Skills-based routing is only part of the solution. According to PwC, ‘the workforce is too often a second thought for healthcare executives who are distracted by numerous payment and regulatory issues’. Society expects more and more of physicians and practices, particularly in primary care. Patients want their health to be better, to be seen in a timely fashion with empathy, and to enjoy a continuous relationship with a high-quality clinician whom they choose. A patient-centered practice has been described as, “They give me exactly the help I need and want, exactly when I need and want it.” (Annals of Family Medicine) Yet for primary care, health systems have not provided the resources to meet these explicit needs.

The answer is simple – add workforce management to skills-based routing. Aspect Healthcare – Workforce Management helps health systems forecast staffing requirements, ensuring the right staff is at the right place at the right time to deliver greater patient satisfaction. Health systems can ensure that there is an optimal staffing mixture of experts and generalists while skills-based routing uses established search criteria to find an available agent who can perform the service that the patient needs.  Greater efficiencies are gained from increased first-time call resolution and more importantly, patient satisfaction.

Aspect’s healthcare solutions help health systems create greater economies of scale. Skill-based routing ensures each patient is connected to the appropriate hospital staff while Aspect Healthcare – Workforce Management ensures that the right balance of clinicians and staff are ready to efficiently meet the needs of each and every patient.

Better care for individuals and better population health, all at a lower cost. Creating economies of scale for your health system is easier with Aspect. Learn more!