NorthLakes Community Clinic is a nonprofit community health center in northern Wisconsin. The health care organization provides comprehensive, integrated, whole-person care including medical, dental, behavioral health, and prescription services through its eight clinic locations across five communities.
For NorthLakes, building a performance report on the ongoing state of the organization was a manual, cumbersome, and time-consuming process. Data on financials and other metrics was stored in disparate systems and required a significant time investment to pull it all together for management review. In addition, the standard table format for reporting numbers provided little insight into improvement opportunities. The organization needed a better way to analyze financials, make staffing decisions, discover opportunities for patient services, and ensure timely payments in the door. Wipfli and QlikView were the solution.
Wipfli kicked off the engagement with a critical discovery phase to help both organizations identify key strategic objectives on which to build a valuable business intelligence platform. Discovery required a deep dive to discern where the authentic value lay and what should be measured and to align those metrics to achieve objectives. Among the areas targeted for better business intelligence were:
- Clinical Management. The solution put data in the hands of all clinical managers, giving them information at their fingertips for better and timelier staffing decisions.
- Financial Management. Wipfli combined the disparate financial information from all the clinics into one easy and accessible view. Spreadsheets were replaced with a one-page dashboard to quickly analyze charges and payments by location. Performance indicators could be reviewed with each of the eight locations to identify site-specific improvement opportunities.
- Patient Services. Utilizing the mapping functionality, Wipfli plotted where patients traveled from in relation to the various clinics. Not only does this allow NorthLakes to direct patients to the most convenient locations, it helps the provider visually map out future services and potential new locations based on real patient demographic/geographic information.
NorthLakes now has the ability to quickly extract data and make performance decisions based on sound business information. The provider no longer dedicates manpower to build reports; that time is now spent on more strategic activities. More important, the group can now identify opportunities weekly instead of monthly. NorthLakes can easily analyze payer mix by location and at the patient level; uncover a variety of trends by day, appointment time, location, etc.; and measure and address provider productivity by site. This kind of discovery is leading to positive action throughout the organization. If marketing learns about low patient levels at a particular clinic, for example, it is able to then target the area and/or service geographically.