What Does It Mean?
Emergency room cost measures the expense of a patient receiving care and treatment in an ER. This KPI is used to determine how efficient treatment is in relation to the cost per visit for the hospital.
Why Does It Matter?
More than just a simple way to eke out greater profits per visit to the emergency room, ER visit cost is used to find areas where bottlenecks may be forming and creating inefficiency. Additionally, high cost of emergency room visit per patient may indicate that certain procedures are not being handled effectively, or that resources are being improperly allocated.
By identifying parts of the ER treatment process that are costing an abnormally large amount or detecting that the average ER wait times or visit is costing too much, hospitals can make better decisions to ensure their sustainability.
See it in action:
How Do You Measure the KPI?
The key to measuring emergency room costs is understanding how the different aspects of emergency treatment contribute to the overall expense. As a part of broader healthcare data analytics, ER visit costs measure both the treatment provided and the cost of physician care. To measure emergency room costs, determine the period being analyzed, and the factors that impact costs and the different metrics you will use. Once a specific unit is determined, costs can be compared over time or individually against a budget.
What Data Sources Would You Use to Measure the KPI?
There are several data sources to consider when measuring emergency room costs, starting with the cost of treatment per patient. Understanding each patient’s flow from intake and triage through completion can indicate abnormal costs throughout the process. Additionally, the cost of individual treatments or medicines can be crucial to finding abnormal expenses.
Give me An Example…
Let’s imagine that a hospital’s emergency room is taking up a disproportionate amount of hospital funds with no discernible reason. Despite efforts to improve the overall flow of the ER visit process, costs continue to pile up for every patient.
By understanding the true cost of an emergency room visit, including the treatment options chosen, the medicines provided, and the resources used, hospital administrators can find key areas to reduce costs and provide a more streamlined service that doesn’t affect a hospital’s sustainability.
What Benchmarks/Indicators Should I Use?
- Cost of treatment per patient
- Length of Stay per patient
- Time spent per physician/staff