In the Revenue Cycle (RCM) world, we live and die by our performance metrics: lag days, days in AR, error rates, cash conversion cycles, bad debt ratios, aging categories – if it can be measured there is probably a report for it. We combine this avalanche of data with individual key performance indicators (KPIs) in an effort to measure the health of our business, teams, and individual resources.
How do we determine what information is important from a team metric perspective and more importantly what we should share with our teams? The best data is easily understood and consumable by the average team member. Choose metrics that are directly impacted or driven by the performance of the team / resource – yet are relevant to the work effort of the individual – this should include team level KPIs. It wouldn’t make sense to show a “waterfall report” to a charge poster or a “lag day” report to a payment poster, choose data that is actionable.
It’s difficult enough to decide what data is important to share at the team level, deciding when to share it can be as challenging. The reality of a busy CBO is we simply don’t have time to sit down with our teams and take valuable production time to review metrics. CE recommends daily team huddles as part of an overall team management strategy. Huddles which normally last no more than ten minutes are an excellent time to communicate daily goals and metrics – for example daily cash posting or charge posting goals. A collections team might discuss a daily call volume goal or the number of accounts worked, but a broader review of AR management reports or metrics requires an expanded conversation. Weekly or monthly team meetings are the recommended venue for covering more complex or extended metrics requiring additional explanation or discussion.
The way we present data is as important as the data itself. In a team huddle, where we want to communicate simple data points in an efficient manner, stick to data points that can be verbally communicated and understood by team members. Team meetings normally provide adequate time to use hand-outs or on-screen presentations for communicating salient data points. Both approaches are important in the communication of metrics and data to team members. The reality is most production resources will not retain this data beyond the huddle or meeting. It is important that management provide a visual reminder of important metrics. CE recommends strategically deploying wall mounted screens that can be seen by your production resources. Display a rotation of both daily, weekly and monthly statistics relevant to each discipline. An example might be in the charge posting group displaying: daily charge posting totals, lag day statistics, and front-end claim rejection rates. All pertinent data points for this team. The visual presentation allows for a repetitive reminder of expected performance and a positive affirmation of progress. Choose clear tables and graphs where available so that your teams can easily see and understand their performance.
Data is an important tool for communicating both positive and negative performance trends, as well as establishing executive expectations. Choose data that is easily consumable and understood, combine this with multiple methods of presentation to achieve the greatest absorption and impact rates. Most people want to do a good job, providing positive affirmation through data is an excellent strategy for motivating your team and maintaining positive moral.