Visualizing Productivity Tradeoffs

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The recommended length of a blog post is between 250 and 1000 words. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I am posting the following graphic without further comment (except to ask “What I am trying to represent?” and that I look forward to your comments).


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  1. NotADoc
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Haven’t a clue, but what did you use to make the cool graph?

  2. chuckwebster
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Permalink
  3. MemphisTiger
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Chuck - not exactly sure what you are driving at since this graphic seems to my lowly mind to imply that practice profitability is counter to patient satisfaction (in that the highest patient satisfaction point is at the bottom of the practice profitability axis) and that the highest levels of productivity seem to meet at some suboptimal point of profitability and patient satisfaction. I think this is counter to the results seen in EncounterPRO practices that I work with. In those practices, patient satisfaction is enhanced because the provider can see more patients (thereby offering more appointment availability), AND be more efficient with those actually seen, which itself drives patient satisfaction and profitability to higher levels.

  4. Mark B.
    Posted March 18, 2009 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    This is a very interesting graph! I understand that you have plotted three quite separate metrics that a practice should be striving to maximize, i.e.: Patient Satisfaction, Clinical Outcomes, and Practice Profitability. Some of the items listed on the graphic can promote one, two, or even all three of the metrics. E-prescribing and workflow optimzation are items that should impact all three, while code optimization really impacts only practice profitability. What is less clear to me from the graphic is how these three parameters interact. I cannot see on the graphic where you could get to a position that maximizes all three metrics. Do you have any thoughts on how to do that?

  5. chuckwebster
    Posted March 18, 2009 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Thank you MemphisTiger and Mark B for your comments.

    I was trying to represent something specific when I created this graph. What was I trying represent and do I feel I was successful?

    Patient satisfaction, practice productivity, clinical outcomes, and productivity come up a lot in conversations about EHR and workflow. However, when I showed the graphic around I got different reactions. One person interpreted it one way and disagreed with me. Another interpreted it a different way than I intended and yet seemed to agree with me. I began to think of the graphic as a sort of Rorschach test about these themes.

    So right now, I’m not going to say what I was trying to do, because, frankly, at the moment I am more interested in what other folks think about the graph than what I originally intended.

    I hope to garner a few more comments before I fess up to my original intentions.

    Please check back!


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  1. [...] goals, when they sometimes conflict, is what I was trying to capture in this (admittedly enigmatic) diagram. For example, short term profit might be increased by reducing staff, but at the expense of [...]

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