How One Polaris Customer Navigates Service Line Management

Managing a hospital service line is like sailing. You may not be able to change the direction of the wind, but you better be ready to adjust your sails. And properly oriented sails require data (i.e. wind speed, navigational headings, weather, etc.).

Unfortunately, most service line managers are desperate for usable, undisputable data in order to optimize their service lines in this time of tight budgets, growing regulatory requirements and healthcare reform.

They need a quick and easy way to see FTEs, costs, revenue, procedure volumes, quality, patient sat, etc. – all the ways they’re being measured. They need to see it by location, modality, type, etc. in order to spot troubles and opportunities. They need to compare it to the budget so they can flex/react if things don’t go as planned. And they need it sooner rather than later.

“You may not be able to change the direction of the wind, but you better be ready to adjust your sails.”

Currently, department managers get information from various sources and manually compile it as best they can. It is time consuming – leaving little bandwidth for operational improvements. Sometimes the data is old. It’s hard to see trends. It often conflicts with someone else’s manually-compiled numbers. It’s messy, inaccurate, inefficient and ineffective.

Most hospitals don’t have the luxury of time and talent to deal with collections of tools, data warehouses, model report templates and BI visionary stuff. They need answers now — a simple, no nonsense approach that automates the costly manual process.

That’s what Polaris does. We automate the manual process of gathering, presenting and automating information. Here’s a customer example:

Frustration in the OR Meetings

A Perioperative Services VP held monthly meetings with surgeon leaders to discuss improvements in surgical room/staff utilization. But the surgeons would poke holes in the data (manually prepared and presented on paper) and would not support necessary changes. Everyone was frustrated.

Getting the Data

So Polaris started a project with the VP in July. By August, the project team had reports and could see inconsistencies in the source data (which were corrected). In October, the VP used a Polaris-built report in the monthly meeting with live data and the ability to drill down.

The Result

After the October meeting, the VP reported that surgeons “connected with the issues” and supported the changes because they were seeing reliable, undisputed data. The VP is thrilled and is now working with Polaris to add Rooms Running, Turnaround Times and On Time Starts reports.

The Polaris Approach — Simple But Effective

This is one of countless examples where Polaris reports provide trusted data to help our customers better navigate their service lines. Need to keep the wind in your sails? Find out how we can help. Contact us.

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