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Innovative Approaches on How to Drive Operational Efficiency in Healthcare

With fresh strategies to operational efficiency, healthcare professionals can reduce costs and ensure patients are given quality coordinated care.

Mical DuBrow profile
By Mical DeBrow
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Edited by Nelsy Mtsweni
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Fact-check by C8 Staff

Published December 24, 2023.

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Healthcare providers are facing a growing demand for their services. This is down to factors like population growth, an aging society, and the rise of chronic diseases. And they’re tasked with providing care that’s both cost-effective and timely.

Operational efficiency in healthcare is all about smart resource management. When done right, it leads to patient-focused care and a sustainable organization. Below, we’ll take a look at what innovative approaches to operational efficiency can do for healthcare and how to drive it through fresh and inventive strategies.

Meet the Expert

Mical DeBrow is an accomplished healthcare leader and clinician with extensive expertise spanning pharma, healthcare payers and providers, and healthcare information technology.

Importance of Operational Efficiency in Healthcare

Operational efficiency supports clinical work. It's a multifaceted concept that touches every aspect of the healthcare system. It’s about ensuring that services are delivered promptly and to a high standard, and keeping the doors of our facilities open. It involves:

  • Preventive care: By focusing on preventive care early in a person’s life, we can potentially reduce the number of acute illnesses that need to be treated later on. This approach can lead to fewer hospital admissions and less strain on healthcare resources.
  • Accessible information: Advanced health information systems can be used to store and retrieve patient data, the latest trustworthy medical research, and locally vetted clinical information. This eliminates the need to sift through stacks of paperwork, saving valuable time.
  • Coordination of care: Effective coordination of care ensures seamless communication and collaboration among different healthcare providers involved in a patient’s care. This can lead to more comprehensive and effective care for the patient.

Challenges to Operational Efficiency

The healthcare industry is facing a staffing crisis, with many professionals leaving due to the stress and strain of the job, especially in the wake of the pandemic. This issue is compounded by the growing trend of reimbursement compression, as financial pressures increase on healthcare providers.

Another significant challenge is the issue of siloed information and systems. Different departments often use different systems, leading to fragmented care and posing a barrier to operational efficiency. Addressing these challenges is crucial for improving operational efficiency in healthcare.

» Here's how C8 Health can make life easier for your medical team.

6 Innovative Approaches That Drive Operational Efficiency

1. Digital Transformation

Digital technologies can aid in clinical decision-making and help hospitals make better decisions in many areas of operations. The use of electronic health records, for example, allows for faster, more precise documentation and data retrieval, which can improve diagnosis and treatment processes. They also facilitate better communication and collaboration among healthcare teams, enhancing patient outcomes.

2. Quality Improvement Methodologies

Healthcare providers are turning to strategies like Lean Six Sigma. These strategies cut out waste, smooth out processes, and lower the number of medical errors. The result? Better efficiency and happier patients.

3. Information Consolidation

Centralized knowledge management systems can help organizations easily adapt to a digital workplace, offering updated clinical guidance and best practices on the go, powered by technology, in a way that's geared to the clinical setting.

By bringing all healthcare data into one system, we make it easier to access and analyze. This boosts operational efficiency and helps with decision-making and planning.

Take C8 Health’s platform, for example. It’s a shining example of how technology can transform healthcare. It streamlines processes and makes critical information easy to access, driving operational efficiency in healthcare.

Here’s how it works:

  • We deliver up-to-date, locally vetted guidance to any device, ensuring best practices are followed anywhere.
  • We provide easy access to a comprehensive knowledge base, ensuring departments and hospitals are always informed.
  • We offer mobile-friendly, searchable, and actionable content formats.
  • We provide advanced analytics to provide insights on content consumption and engagement.

4. Patient-Centered Workflows

When we design processes with the patient’s needs in mind, we improve their experience. We also make care coordination smoother and deliver services more efficiently.

5. Telehealth

Telehealth platforms allow patients to consult with healthcare providers remotely, reducing the need for physical visits. This can result in significant time and cost savings in healthcare while expanding access to care.

6. Wearable Technology

Wearable devices like fitness trackers and smartwatches give us real-time health data. This allows for proactive care and personalized interventions, making it easier to monitor and manage patients’ health.

Wearable devices can save lives by continuously monitoring cardiac rhythms and glucose levels overnight, especially for diabetic patients.

Considerations for Implementing These Innovative Approaches

To make a real difference with operational efficiency, everyone involved in decision-making—from clinicians and patients to IT experts—needs to make sure the systems in place work well for them.

Partnerships can play a key role here. When government agencies team up with private organizations, it can help fine-tune healthcare operations. This balance can lead to cost-efficiency and quality outcomes.

As healthcare keeps changing, these innovative measures will become more and more important. They’re the key to maintaining operational efficiency and delivering top-notch patient care.

» Streamline your institution's admin with this easy-to-use solution.

Innovation Meets Efficiency with Digital Transformation

Operational efficiency in healthcare has become a necessity. Innovative approaches like electronic health records, quality improvement methodologies, telehealth, and wearable technology help organize better coordination and accessibility of care.

With innovative solutions that are conceptualized specifically for the clinical field, you can drive operational efficiency, making healthcare better for healthcare professionals and patients alike.