Now that we are a little more than a year out from the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be worth taking a moment to evaluate how your organization handled this once-in-a-lifetime disruption: What lessons has your organization learned? What new practices are worth carrying into the future? Where do you need to catch up?
In some ways, 2020’s pandemic served to accelerate several procedural trends (like telemedicine and remote
IT management) that had been slowly emerging over the past 4-5 years. For revenue cycle managers, this meant continuing to process claims correctly, even in the midst of billing and reimbursement policies that seemed to be getting revised on a near-daily basis.
Beyond remote IT work, the pandemic has had an impact on the way healthcare itself is administered. The Department of Health and Human Services reported that 43.5 percent of Medicare primary care visits in April of 2020 were provided via telehealth, compared with less than one percent in February before the pandemic.
In this new landscape, it’s a good time to ask yourself a few key questions about your processes.
HOW HAS REMOTE WORKING PERMANENTLY AFFECTED OUR WORKFLOWS?
Whether your employees are completely remote, back in the office, or some combination of the two, chances are your processes were affected by the shift to remote work in some way.
Take some time to evaluate how your team handled working remotely by asking the following questions:
HOW DO WE PUT PERFORMANCE METRICS IN PLACE TO RECLAIM VISIBILITY AND CONTROL?
Managing operations remotely is one thing, but you also have to monitor progress and make sure that your IT and revenue cycle teams are remaining engaged. There are ways to appropriately measure productivity without resorting to all-out surveillance.
DOES YOUR TEAM’S FOCUS NEED REFRESHING? WHAT CAN BE DONE MOVING FORWARD?
Although most survey data from big consulting firms concerning remote work is positive, at-home workers listed several challenges, including “home-based distractions,” “inability to collaborate with colleagues/clients,” and “loneliness” as significant challenges of remote work in 2020.
To evaluate performance and bolster your remote work policy, try to solicit feedback from your employees about their experience in the last year and see whether you can adapt your practices to ease the impact of the most common challenges.
Without the physical separation between home and office, many workers reported having trouble winding down. It’s always essential to keep your employees’ mental health in mind, especially during times of stress. Encourage them to take breaks and establish a healthy work-life balance.
DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE NEXT CRISIS TO REFINE YOUR WORKFLOW
Halfway through 2021, we’re already well into the “new normal,” but it’s never too early to be thinking about the “next normal.” While major disruptions like COVID-19 are unpredictable, having scalable, flexible workflows in place will help your organization bounce back quickly, and even use these events as opportunities for growth.
S&P Consultants brought several major projects to fruition in 2020 across a wide spectrum of focus from operations upgrades and implementations to clinical optimization/training and major revenue cycle management engagements.
In the process, we’ve developed a reputation for helping organizations accomplish what’s necessary under virtually any circumstances. Remote work in some form is here to stay, and our staff includes experienced consultants that can help you institute the practices that will keep your teams productive and accountable, even in a changing landscape.
Give us a call today at (781) 428-3497 or fill out our Contact form to see how we can help you.
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