12 commandments for the operational efficiency of health IT

Health care IT operational efficiency must balance cost effectiveness with patient safety and care quality, according to a Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA) webinar presented by Manuel Lloyd, a health IT (HIT) operational efficiency expert. Lloyd noted that HIT operational efficiency depends on risk management, minimized service disruptions, patient relationships, and the establishment of benchmarks.

Operational efficiency

 Lloyd offered the following “twelve commandments” for operational efficiency and alignment:

1. Identify and focus on the highest value activities.
2. Service multiple customers with varying requirements using only limited resources.
3. Define, measure, and report relevant metrics to help with fact-based decision-making.
4. Improve efficiency by automating standard tasks and applying lean principles to your work.
5. Unite teams and processes by understanding interdependencies and their impact.
6. Influence the organizational culture to support continual improvement activities.
7. Improve communication by encouraging the use of common terminology.
8. Identify alignment opportunities with the business by identifying and understanding the value chain.
9. Save costs by centralizing activities and teams using well-defined fit-for-purpose and fit-for-use processes.
10. Be in control by clearly understanding your process responsibilities and expected outputs.
11. Build trust within the organization by understanding and aligning stakeholder goals, objectives and incentives.
12. Demonstrate business focus by taking a customer-centric approach to services.

Data

Lloyd suggested that providers and compliance professionals keep their focus on data because, he said, Data Rules Everything Around Medical™ (DREAM™). Thus, because operational efficiency is ultimately driven by data, Lloyd explained that capacity management is a crucial component of continued efficiency as data becomes more complex and data storage needs increase. He also recommended that all data incident management be processed through a service desk so that “data about the data” will always be contained in a single location. He also noted, because of the importance of patient expectations, providers need to have effective workaround to minimize disruptions in HIT systems.