Use big data to diagnose health of your practice
By Stephane Laverdiere
Multinational companies such as IBM, Nike and Facebook use “big data” to forecast trends, create marketing campaigns and enhance customer experience. In recent years, big data has changed the way we do business. No longer confined to large companies, businesses of all sizes use analytics to review, plan and execute marketing programs.
Big data has become a big driver in digital health innovation.
Chiropractors who use a paperless EHR system will produce data that, when identified, aggregated and analyzed will provide a lot of valuable information to optimize patient care.
Practice management software reports provide valuable information that when applied, will amplify a patient experience and practice growth.
Here are five ways to optimize your practice with data generated from software reports.
1. Understanding, attracting new patients
If your practice has plateaued and the reason is not obvious, the answer is in the data. Do you know who your most profitable patients are?
A comprehensive review of new patient, accounts receivable, referral and marketing reports will give you the tools to find those answers. A great software will make it easy for you to find your most passionate patients who believe in what you do.
The interpreted data will show you the areas that you need to improve and give you the tools you need to optimize. It’s great to have long-term patients but if they are not referring their friends and family, you may want to initiate a referral program that rewards loyalty. Your top referrals will influence your practice demographic. For example, if your “top ambassador” is a thirty-something married professional with a young family, it’s predictable they will refer friends with a similar lifestyle to your practice.
Base your marketing efforts on your current patient demographic and what works. A client who used particular outreach talk and campaign for years finally realized the conversion rate was extremely low. They booked many exams but were unable to convert leads into clients. Interpreting and applying demographic reports helped them better focus their energy toward campaigns that resonated with potential patients.
2. Create targeted marketing campaign
Every picture tells a story, and your data is no exception. Collecting patient data provides useful demographics such as age, gender, marital status, interests and occupation. Use collected information for a retention or targeted marketing campaign. A comprehensive marketing report allows you to enter and link a lead into a marketing campaign. Once the lead becomes a patient, you can then change the status flag from lead to active patient. Income or any referrals generated from a lead are tallied from a particular campaign. Software capabilities allow campaign down line (complete with cost) to be tracked for years to measure return on investment.
Create an organic or paid social media campaign with demographic data derived from marketing reports. Use your patient demographic data to attract new patients through a Facebook targeted audience ad campaign.
Anything and everything can be tracked. Is a trending health issue resonating in the exam room? Educate on specific issues through patient handouts, email, seminars or social media to cultivate trust and loyalty. Track all campaigns, paid or organic in order to prioritize your message and energy on campaigns that work.
3. Income forecasting
Take control over your business practices using reports. Lead or patient data “push indicators” include health issues, appointment frequency, and inventory reports. Review plan reports to determine revenue from health insurance claims. Billing reports display services paid in advance and indicates the amount to be removed from escrow based on services rendered on same plans. Reports give you the complete ability to keep track of receivables and statements with a remaining balance, the age of the balance, and facilitates follow-up on past-due billing. Unpaid services can no longer be lost or ignored. Practice management software should give you a view of your overall practice – corporate metrics, operational performance, functional KPIs – so you can adjust plans and forecasts based on exceptions and trends.
If you sell, health-care products do not base adjustment or growth on your vendors’ product sales reports. Instead, use in-house inventory reports to decide which product line to carry, drop or actively promote. Practice management software gives you the tools to anticipate market demand and predict growth.
4. Improve bottom line
To grow a profitable practice, chiropractors must decide when to implement a marketing campaign, hire or retrain staff, add a therapeutic modality or focus more on patient education. Customer engagement management utilizes reports to give insight on what is happening behind the front desk.
It gives the manager an opportunity to review frontline statistics with staff on an ongoing basis in order to facilitate teamwork and encourage retention. Set performance measurement goals for each staff member and track patient engagement. Collect outgoing call reports, schedule rebooking, and track patient updates to motivate staff to adhere to a higher standard of service quality. Software programs collect information about the length of time a patient is in the office based on the sign in and check out at the front desk. Determine the appointment type, the provider and the room used to narrow down inefficiencies. Highlight areas in need of improvement, and give managers the opportunity to drill down into hotspots so they can identify, manage and track progress.
Reports also identify where the frontline is struggling so an office can implement targeted coaching, training and performance improvement initiatives.
5. Cultivating patient point of view
Leverage the technology that you use to run your practice as a tool for gathering information to create a patient-centered culture. Your patient deserves a memorable experience with every visit. Software programs have the ability to schedule pit stops or customize messages that pop up at patient sign in. You can view all the special messages on a report to ensure the transaction (financial, rebooking clients or any detail) is completed in a professional and efficient manner.
Practice management programs and the data they generate give doctors a view of the health of their practice.
Use technology as a tool for gathering business intelligence and you will succeed in building a successful patient-engaged practice.
Dr. Stephane Laverdiere, DC, is a graduate of the National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Ill., and president and cofounder of Atlas Chiropractic Systems, a paperless office solution. He is also the founder of the Internet video marketing firm, ChiroVMail. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1-877-602-8527.