Customer data is not just about their healthcare. For example, population growth statistics and new housing starts can help identify areas where more primary care physicians may be needed in the future. Demographics can point to where aging populations are creating new healthcare needs. Traffic data, competitor locations and drive times can all help narrow the options.
Until very recently, however, different departments within the typical healthcare system have not shared the vital big data they have collected for years to truly help optimize and find the best locations to better serve patients. Consider the various forms of related data, compared to the distinct responsibilities that exist in a healthcare system:
- Physician assistants (PAs) have access to key performance indicators (KPIs) related to utilization of exam rooms, net operating income, physician referrals, drive times, underperforming practices and wait times.
- C-suite executives own the key initiatives and mission for the entire system.
- Business development and analytics departments identify new opportunities.
- Real estate departments maximize the portfolio by eliminating duplicate facilities and adding more specialties to one location.
Typically, no single group mentioned above has all the data – even the C-suite executives. When departments break down the silos and create a method to share this vast knowledge and history of data, real estate departments can add significant value. Consider what happens when a health system layers in raw data such as patient addresses, payor mix, no shows/cancellations, referral partners, competition and acquisitions with current and projected demographics. These analytics can help identify the perfect patient for each specialty, where they live, their habits, and the likelihood of traveling to a physician or potentially having a no-show or finding a competing provider. Health systems that leverage predictive analytics to better plan their real estate portfolios can better fulfill their mission to serve the population effectively, creating the best patient experience possible.
Advanced data and analytics tools are helping executives bring together these many disparate data points to create a holistic understanding of a health system’s potential. Next-generation geographic information system (GIS) technology can visually integrate every data point that matters in your location decisions. The right technology tools can layer in details such as real estate market trends, neighborhood demographics, buying patterns and competition from other healthcare providers, sometimes on a highly granular level.
One major healthcare system, for example, is leveraging multiple tools to plot a future for its network of healthcare facilities on the west coast. Using one seamless tool, the health
system is examining demographics, construction starts, competitors and other diverse data points. The technology it uses allows it to “fly in” to a neighborhood, and choose from thousands of data points, including other locations in its own portfolio. This level of customization supports rapid and thoughtful decision-making that can generate scenarios in real time.