Case Studies

Case Study #1

Problem analysis and strategic solutions / Continuous process improvement


Situation

The "no show" rate at a local community health clinic where BTree acts as a consultant was very high at about 30%. With a little over a million dollars of revenue a year in the dental department and rising costs, we knew that reducing the no show rate would increase production and make the department more profitable.

Hindrance

Hiring extra staff would have been cost prohibitive. The department was already understaffed and assigning new tasks to existing employees was not feasible.

Actions

BTree contacted a firm that does computer generated reminder calls and we then initiated talks between them and Health Center aimed at having them make reminder calls for all the departments at the Health Center. They use an automated computer system to make the reminder calls that does sound reasonably natural so we knew patient acceptance would be pretty high. The system was also capable of speaking in different languages when prompted, which was an important consideration since they would be calling a diverse population. After the talks resulted in the approval of a test phase, we used our technical skills to program a script to upload the patient list to them on a daily basis, automatically at noon. Reminder calls are now made two days ahead of the appointment. Senior citizens, specifically defined as those over 65, are called at 2pm, and other patients between 5:30pm and 6:30pm. Any calls that are not confirmed by the caller pressing the 2 button on their telephone keypad are made again the next day. Anyone called is also given the option of pressing 3 to record a message for the Health Center staff. This occurs most often when they are unable to keep their appointment for the scheduled time. This feature is important because it can be difficult to call the individual departments during the day due to high telephone volume, which can serve to discourage a patient from calling to say that they can not attend their appointment.

Results

The no-show rate dropped by a third to 20%! This means that revenue increased up 5%, or $50,000 per year in the Dental Clinic alone. The cost to the dental department of the new service is only $6,000 per year, which means there was a $44,000 net increase. Although it is early in the program, if these results hold across the other ten departments at the health center, the annual revenue health center wide would rise $500,000 and only cost $25,000.

Evaluation

Investment in outsourcing core tasks and in the implementation of good technology can generate significant increases in revenue and operational efficiency.


Case Studies


Case Study #1

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