Joining Hospital IQ and building closer relationships with our clients has been a very eye-opening and awesome experience for me. Almost 30 years in healthcare workforce management provided me with great experiences, but it had been several years since I had been able to directly help clients in an impactful and gratifying way. Since joining Hospital IQ, having the opportunity to work side by side with our clients has enlightened me about the value of building confidence.
Operational decision making in healthcare is arguably one of the most challenging and stressful positions for a human to be in. How does one balance the ability to provide high quality care for the current patient population and be prepared for what might be coming their way given the financial requirements of the healthcare organization? Face it, healthcare is expensive, and organizations can’t always be running at maximum operating capacity when it is not needed. However, most organizations today operate without any tools to give them advance warning on what is coming their way. Imagine needing to make blind decisions to scale back or increase capacity when your family’s care and the ability for the hospital to stay in business is at stake. The intensity and stress created from not knowing and making decisions without confidence is absolutely mind boggling.
The stress and anxiety felt by these caregivers and decision makers did not really hit home until I was able to witness the impact and confidence of the “Crystal Ball.” Witnessing the journey of a hospital utilizing our census prediction solution really helped me understand the impact of what Hospital IQ does. Watching the transition from skepticism to hopefulness to confidence and the impact on the care team has been the highlight of my career. Sure, we have been able to deliver great hard cost savings thanks to the ability to take a more proactive approach to operational efficiency, but that’s not what has given me the most satisfaction. Rather, it’s the confidence we are giving the decision makers and care teams to make the needed adjustments, which allows them to provide high quality care while better managing operational costs. The ability to balance care quality and financial viability is tremendous and has become a must-have in today’s healthcare environment.
I call the adoption of utilization of the data science behind the census forecast a journey because caregivers have been conditioned to be skeptical. They have been forced to adopt technology with the promise of saving time and enhancing their ability to provide high quality care — and it just has not happened. Why would a hospital blindly jump on board when a vendor uses buzzwords like “machine learning” and “cloud analytics” that will make their jobs so much easier? Well, they don’t and will not believe without evidence – not just accuracy percentages published in a fancy white paper with terms that might as well be written in a foreign language. Hospitals will believe it when they see solutions operating in their world and when they can test it themselves. They will believe it when they can walk around with the data on their phone and can quantifiably track if what has been forecasted actually happens. They will believe it when they see sustained results over a period of time.
But thanks to the accuracy provided by the awesome data scientists at Hospital IQ, hospitals do become believers over time. They will change by seeing the accuracy of the “Crystal Ball” showing them the future. They will gain confidence by not immediately adjusting for the forecast, by establishing a plan for what the forecast is saying, and successfully executing that plan. They will then start to proactively prepare for the forecasted volume and finally lean confidently on the forecast for many strategic business decisions.
Hospital decision makers, whether they’re on the caregiver or business sides of the business, have too much at stake to simply hope a software solution will help them make better decisions for every stakeholder in the hospital. But seeing how trusted data helps them make more accurate decisions that enable the delivery of better care is enormously gratifying. I’m excited about the future of healthcare that leverages the power of data and analytics for the benefit of all.