Category: Blog

21 Mar 2016
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5 Ways to Improve Your Lab’s Turn Around Time Today

Ideas to improve the efficiency of your laboratory reports resulting in happier patients and increased revenues.

Independent labs have made a name and created a brand for themselves. Pathology is no longer a subset in a hospital. It is a huge operation by itself generating significant revenue thanks to the increasing health awareness amongst the general population on the importance of routine health checks. From the smallest to large sophisticated centers, pathologies all across the country are playing a significant role in patient care decisions as well as the commercial dynamics.

The key to a cured and safe patient is medical decision at the right time and that today entirely depends on the test reports reaching the physician at the earliest.     The writing on the wall is clear and loud – Pathologies with higher volume, higher efficiency and fastest report delivery will earn the most. Not just money but also a trusting patient base. Which again translates into money, obviously.  Every pathologist out there will manage the volume and efficiency but what makes all the difference is the fastest report delivery – the Turn Around Time (TAT). This factor is and will have unimaginable impact on the way healthcare dynamics work.

We bring you 5 ideas to improve TAT and get the competitive edge on your side:

1.Central Work Bench

The working area in the pathology can have a central workbench dedicated to samples storage. Also, the vacutainers containing samples can be color-coded to identify whether it is a single test sample or a shared one. Both these changes will help in reducing time wastage in searching for shared samples, which in turn will lead to efficient use of manpower thereby speeding up the whole process and affecting TAT positively. Further, having a central automation system for your entire lab, can dramatically improve the TAT.

2. Pre-analytical Check Point

A single but extremely efficient pre-analytical check point can be set up and made part of the SOP to be followed before the actual pathological test. This will hugely help in avoiding wrong test results due to human errors as well as help in reducing the time wasted on wrong samples.

3. Auto Validation

The list of tests that can be auto validated by virtue of the fact that they have been performed on well-calibrated automated instruments should be on the higher side. More and more tests should be added to this list time and again. Auto-authorization helps reduce dependency on a single pathologist or a team of pathologists to validate each and every test performed on the pathology thus increasing the time efficiency in reporting the test results.

4. Multitasking Training for Staff

If TAT has to be maintained, managing manpower shortages from time to time needs to be tackled smartly. Training majority of the staff to perform tests of different sections in the pathology would help reduce the overtime costs for the hospital as well as cover up for the manpower shortage efficiently.

5. Pneumatic Tube System for Sample Transportation

You cannot test a sample without getting a sample. The key factor in pathology TAT is the time spent in transportation of samples from the patient’s bedside to the pathology. Use of Pneumatic tube systems for sample transportation will ensure safe and quick transportation of the samples. The faster the samples reach the technician the quicker will be the turnaround time.

There have been instances where the treating consultants would prefer to get tests done from a pathology not related to the hospital simply because the reports are a mere 15 minutes quicker. But 15 minutes with respect to human health can be critical for the patient outcomes.

Always remember higher volume, higher efficiency and fastest report delivery. Result delivery is important but timing is paramount especially when it comes to healthcare. So improve your TAT to improve your revenues.

Taking all these measures can be quite simple when your lab is automated. Automating your lab at the end of the day streamlines operations, removes inefficiencies and improves the TAT significantly. To know more, click here.

21 Mar 2016
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How to Get Star Consultants to Choose Your Hospital

5 ways to get high revenue generating consultants to work in your hospital.

Revenue is what keeps any successful business going and it is no different for hospitals. The impressive infrastructure, state-of-the-art equipment, qualified administration & patient care staff or the best of customer care practices in the hospital industry generate revenue only when there are patients in the hospital.

Even in large metro cities with multiple branded hospital chains, a patient really chooses the doctor and not the hospital. For instance, a star gastroenterologist may have his part time practice in a lesser-known clinic rather than a large hospital equipped with all the facilities, and patients will still choose the lesser-known hospital for the doctor.

As we know there is more to a patient treatment plan than the consultation; it is the registration, lab tests, pharmacy, procedures and ultimately references and positive word of mouth. Each of these components generate revenue for the hospital.  And the reason is primarily the doctor who gets them to choose your hospital in the first place.

So what can you do to get that star consultant to adorn the coat with your hospital’s nametag?

We list down 5 best measures that can help you attract the best of the best talent to your hospital:

1. Flexible Schedules

Since you need this star consultant to practice in your hospital, one of the first things that you might want to offer is flexible schedules. This helps the consultant agree to be a part of your hospital and not get into a mode of feeling that they don’t have enough control over their time. Having an efficient appointment and schedule management software will help streamline this process and optimize the time spent on managing doctors’ schedules.

2. Better Support Staff

Medical care is all teamwork. While the patient comes into the hospital because she wants to consult a particular doctor, they will come back again largely because of the support staff – the junior doctors, the nurses, the technicians and the housekeeping staff among others. And every consultant wants his patients to come back. Every consultant wants a team he can have confidence on. A team that will deliver as much in their absence as in their presence.

3. Better Decision Making Inputs

Today’s medical care is inclined towards evidence based medical decisions and the subsequent care. A good way for the hospital to become a preferred employer for the top consultants is by offering an infrastructure where the medical decision-making is evidence based, easily accessible and efficient. State-of-the-art medical equipment, EMR and automated workflows are a few add-ons that you should consider implementing if you haven’t already.

4. Better Compensation

The biggest motivator and driving force in the world of business is the compensation. Compensation is not just about the money but also about the value of the professional. Devising a profitable billing sharing arrangement will go a long way in the relationship between consultants and hospital.

5. Treat your consultants like your customers

As Stephen R. Covey states, “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” For doctors, it is not just about the monetary benefits. Focus on the needs and requirements of your consultants and implement the best practices in your hospital. Provide your consultants with the right tools and technology that make their lives easier. Automate your hospital to make the workforce around doctors more efficient and let your consultants know that you are here to make their life more comfortable. This works in getting the hospital on other star consultant’s preferred employer list.

While the effectiveness of these measures may differ because of the dynamics of healthcare markets in different cities, each one of these is a sure shot gainer. It is on the hospital to devise a package that works the best for it. When word gets around, you will find more consultants interested in your hospital.

To understand how you can enhance patient care, increase revenues, improve productivity, optimize cost and make star consultants choose your hospital, click here.

21 Mar 2016
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4 Things That Makes a Hospital Truly Great

We give you a list of the must-haves to get your hospital to be one of the top ones in your city.

Looking at the working practices of the best hospitals in the business, we bring you a list of 4 defining traits that all great hospitals around the world have. Do a comparison check. How many does your hospital have?

1. A Culture of Excellence

Hospitals are complex machineries run by human minds and hands. And is natural for human errors to creep in sometimes. While the medical team at an average hospital will stand pointing fingers to each other, the administration, the processes, even at the pharmacy or the equipment, the team at a great hospital will want to face a medical audit and concentrate on its findings. There would be no penalty or suspensions by the management since the culture of excellence is so deeply embedded that the clinical team would want to dissect the error, do a root cause analysis and change practices if need be. Foster this culture of excellence in your hospital and inspire your team to put their best foot forward at all times.

2. Efficient and Empathetic Nursing Staff

The nursing staff are typically the largest group of caregivers in a hospital. Consultants or junior doctors meet a patient maybe twice or thrice a day but the regular banter between a patient and a nurse is what makes all the difference to her experience in a hospital. An efficient nurse would provide the correct care and an empathetic one will give the patient all the mental soothing she needs. Imagine what the combination can do. Focus and spend time and effort on recruiting and retaining nurses with these qualities. It will be worth every penny you invest. Further, providing them with an effective software solution will maximize their productivity and improve the efficiency of your operations.

3. Timely Communication

This is the key to the success of any relationship including the one between a patient and a hospital. Delay in medication arrival to delay in sample collection to minor human errors, everything can be handled with timely and effective communication. What the patient and most importantly her anxious attendants want is communication. Communication about the health status of the patient, communication about the tests, the treatment and the costing. Automating your hospital system will eliminate delays in communication and improve the operational efficiency, which directly results in enhanced patient care and improved outcomes. This will not just reflect on the service you provide and the reputation of your hospital, it will go a long way in patient satisfaction.

4. Transparent Pricing

A very common practice among patient attendants in India, is requesting a discount on the final bill. This is one of the main reasons why people go looking for a connection within the management or the hospital. This behavior comes from the psychological impact of not being aware of the pricing for each procedure or test conducted on the patient and also the social belief that hospitals overcharge as no one sees what they are charging for. Transparency in pricing coupled with timely communication can put an end to this social behavior and lead to a satisfied patient base that is not going to call you an overcharging hospital. While no one minds paying the right price, everyone dislikes feeling that they have been overcharged. Hospitals have achieved this, yours can too.

There could be 20 other things that you can change in your hospital depending on your market and internal dynamics but make sure that these 4 are there. They are the must-haves.

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