- Ronald Reagan
"The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things."
- Ronald Reagan
Prominence was ranked in the top 5 for Leadership and top 7 for Client Engagement in Consulting Magazine’s Best Small Firms to Work For rankings. This ranking is a reflection of the Prominence team, the best and brightest in the healthcare industry. We leverage our experience across hundreds of deployments and through myriad challenges facing healthcare organizations today to deliver efficient, creative, and sustainable solutions.
The rankings are based on an online survey conducted in the spring and summer of 2017. About 10,000 consultants participated, representing more than 300 firms. The consultants surveyed operate in every service line across at least 35 different practices areas and serve clients across all major industries.
Over the years of hosting the Tri 4 Schools Golf Classic, I'm always impressed at how much impact a day of silly fun can have on our community. As you can see from this photo, the weather was wonderful. As you can assume from the photos below, a great time was had by all.
Tri 4 Schools is a non-profit serving Dane County, Wisconsin (and beyond!) to provide opportunities for kids to be active. Their events and programs focus on the power of swimming, biking, and running as opportunities to teach children life skills such as setting goals, sportsmanship, and self-confidence. It’s also a fun and structured way to burn off extra energy and build a habit of being active after spending much of the day in the classroom.
What you can't see from our scenic and fun event photos is what comes next, such as the opportunity to initiate a program at Leopold Elementary School in Madison. Leopold has a diverse student population, and it's a wonderful opportunity for those kiddos to experience Tri 4 Schools. You can't see the faces of the 120 kids who will have access to the amazing programming provided by Tri 4 Schools as they work to complete a triathlon in 2018. You can't see the reach that this year's fundraiser enables, pushing past Dane County and in to Watertown and Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, as Tri 4 Schools begins their growth across the state.
We're proud to be a part of the mission of Tri 4 Schools, and we're continually impressed by their commitment to helping kids build healthy habits! Learn more about how you can get involved.
Michael Behrens, Strategic Services: Rev Cycle Management
We just got back from sunny San Diego, where we were honored to co-host the Collaboration of Revenue Cycle Epic Users (CORE www.coreusersgroup.org/) conference. CORE is a conference led by users of Epic’s revenue cycle applications, providing both end users and analysts opportunities to network and to share best practices.
Emphasis #1: Denial Management
Lots of organizations are working to prevent denials. For example, Rady Children’s Hospital presented on their success in addressing denials through improved communication across registration, coding, and billing departments. They also highlighted some innovative system automation to let the system, rather than a person, take the first step to follow up on denial codes. SCL Health shared work they’ve been doing through a self-service denials management application utilizing Tableau. They preached the gospel of self-service reporting and allowing individual departments access to drill into denial information they needed to prevent and manage those denials.
Emphasis #2: Revenue Integrity
Revenue integrity departments, or teams that ensure charges are complete and accurate, are popping up everywhere. While each organization has a slightly different take on the role of these teams, the benefits are consistent - by auditing encounters for charge accuracy, you may find you've missed charges that you could be capturing more accurately. Based on what we heard, here are a few best practices in the design of a revenue integrity team:
At the end, we hosted a happy hour. Our team had a great time talking to some very intelligent revenue cycle minds and unwinding after a productive and informative week.
Stay tuned for more details on how we approach denial management and revenue integrity in our next post! Can't wait? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re highlighting the foundations of governance. Check out our other posts in this series here and here!
Authority is more than just naming someone in charge. Through effectively distributing and managing authority, people better understand their environment, feel empowered to make decisions, and recognize that their undertakings have value.
Without authority, managing changes and paradigm shifts (such as transitioning to become a truly data-driven organization) becomes impossible. People need to know that the hard work of changing their mindset, process, or expectations won’t be a waste of time.
When we’re looking at the foundations for governance, we define authority as the formalized structure denoting responsibility and decision rights. In our work, we look for names of people who are expected to influence behavior or to make a decision. We also look for opportunities. Does someone that the rest of the organization sees as an influencer see themselves in that same way? Does everyone involved in a decision know who is the ultimate authority?
In the ever-changing landscape of healthcare organizations, it can be difficult to ensure the necessary authority for an effort. Authority must be coupled with an innovation mindset such as the characteristics seen in high-reliability organizations, acknowledging that even very important efforts may not succeed the first time. Decision-makers will be increasingly reluctant to wield their decision rights if they fear failure.
Authority is granted from the top down, but it doesn’t take much to remove credibility. When championing a new initiative, it’s essential that senior leadership assigns authority to people with strong judgement who are also trusted by the team at large. It's equally important to maintain support. If something goes awry (as it likely will with a new endeavor), the person with the authority to make the decision in the first place must also have the authority to adjust the course and continue to make headway. Not only does this set your staff up to function as a team in this project, it also reinforces a collaborative culture that learns from mistakes instead of seeing status or position depend on perfection.
Want to talk more? We'd love to hear from you! email@example.com
We're highlighting foundations of governance. If you missed our intro post, take a look here.
What’s the foundation of a list of foundations?
My pick is communication.
With a strong foundation of communication, many other success factors become easier. We often see that may be conveyed without being fully understood. And if your recipients aren’t getting the message, they are not going to be able to take steps toward the changes required by an exciting new challenge.
So, what does effective communication look like?
Messages that are successfully communicated must be both delivered AND received. This seems obvious, but it’s a common point of failure, especially when a challenge is being tackled in an innovative way. People may be at varying levels of readiness for the unknowns and perceived risks of innovation. They might not be as receptive to the details of a message because they are distracted by the fact that they won’t yet have expertise.
To improve the success of delivery, acknowledge the challenges inherent in the message.
For example, when asking someone to do something that’s out of their comfort zone, share the big picture. Be careful not just to share the goal; communicate the motivation, purpose, and (at least some of the) path, as well. This makes the unknown more tangible, which makes it more likely that someone will find a way to relate to the request and be more comfortable acting.
We observed this with one of our clients. They found it easier to unify staff around a Sepsis prevention effort than around improving patient satisfaction scores.
The message about Sepsis was clear: Sepsis is life-threatening. We can save lives through our actions.
The message about improving patient satisfaction scores needs more support to be relevant on a day-to-day basis.
Communication is easier with a shared vision. By helping everyone involved understand how solving a given challenge can benefit the organization, it becomes easier to take the time necessary to really deliver and receive a message.
Interested in learning more? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I played Jenga a lot as a kid. My sister and I would camp out on the hardwood living room floor (the carpet introduced too many variables!). We’d play round after round, taking turns re-stacking the blocks, carefully packing them tightly into the clear plastic case so they’d be as level as possible for the start of each game.
As cliché as it may be, the analogy of Jenga is applicable when we’re assessing a challenging situation – which essential building blocks are missing?
At first glance, the tasks that our clients are looking to accomplish vary widely, such as:
These tasks can be challenging in the best of situations, where staff has the time, core competencies, exposure, and support to learn the skills necessary to be successful.
But those best-case situations are rarely available, and this is why true success builds on governance.
Governance is the way to ensure that an organization’s goals meet their strategic requirements. This requires deeper investigation into policies and procedures, communication and cross-team collaboration, and the alignment of these efforts with organizational goals. For transformational projects to be truly successful and sustainable, the foundations for governance must all be in place.
Where do we start when we’re talking about the foundations of governance? We found some similarities between our approach and this article, and we found some differences, too. Over the next several posts, we’ll dig in to warning signs we look for when assessing three of the foundations of governance in any project.
Meanwhile, we'd love to hear where you are struggling with foundations of governance - email us!
Who doesn’t want to make sure your payers are meeting agreed upon contracts? Monitoring contracts is more than just having an employee reviewing large contractual write-offs or denials. You need to be able to aggregate data to find trends and then drill into the details. Prominence worked with a customer to do just that!
The organization wanted to gain insight into their costs, volumes, claims, and membership metrics across their payers to identify potential cost-saving scenarios and profitability opportunities. The Employee Benefits team needed the ability to analyze their Employer Plan claim files to gain insight in their providers’ utilization costs, as well as to monitor their members’ level of medication compliance required to manage chronic health conditions.
Previously they were unable to:
The Prominence team was tasked with aggregating ten different monthly files received from their payers, which included claim, pharmacy, PMPM costs, and membership files.
We were asked to:
To start, the Prominence team built an architecture to facilitate the mapping and combination of claims files, allowing the organization to trend information over time and analyze metrics across multiple payers. Next, we built an application that allows metric comparison across providers, facilities, and payers.
The goal of the application is to guide users in identifying potential problems, such as:
The organization quickly realized a return on investment:
If you have questions or are interested in hearing more, please email us! email@example.com
Carla Russell, Senior Project Manager
Data governance represents one of the biggest changes on the healthcare horizon today. At Prominence Advisors, we were pulled to data governance dynamically. When we started as a company, we focused on Epic staff augmentation, our comfort zone. We realized the power of healthcare data that wasn’t being utilized, and we grew our expertise in analytics solutions. In working with analytics implementations, we found a common denominator missing, to some degree, with all our clients: No one was fully realizing the true value of their data.
We began to address the governance principles of people, processes, tools, and the data infrastructure itself, and we realized that it’s not as easy as just getting people in a room to agree on a process; we found the true barriers to data governance were barriers to big change itself. Our customers understand that by resetting the foundation supporting their information lifecycle, the value of data is easier to both measure and manage. They know that this is the necessary direction to take to deal with all the data they have in an effective way. But big change is tough – where to begin?!
This transition from recognizing the necessary steps to actually taking them, moving outside our comfort zone, parallels experiences many of us go through on a personal level. In my case, it was my experience with a personal trainer. Check out the similarities I found as I compared characteristics of both.
1. Recognize and acknowledge the boundaries of your current comfort zone
2. Work with an expert for an objective reality check
3. (Really, really) commit to a plan
Because I’m more passionate about designing strong, effective approaches to bring the value of data to the forefront of our health systems than I am about designing balanced, challenging strength workouts, I find my mind wandering during my training sessions.
While I’m breathing through my reps, I think about my work on data governance projects. I think about the leaders at the healthcare organizations I work with who know that data governance is the right next step toward achieving their data goals, but they don’t have all the pieces in place (time, energy, a plan, accountability, etc.) to get there.
While I’m struggling to control the momentum of a kettle bell swinging in a smooth arc, I think about how difficult it can be to make a change that requires new and unfamiliar efforts outside of our comfort zones. I think about how acknowledging that change is both necessary and difficult gives staff the permission to take these new and often slow-moving efforts seriously.
While I’m focused on my knees tracking over the outsides of my feet during a set of squats, I think about how critical it is to anticipate mistakes when trying something new, to watch for errors in form or function and immediately teach from them. I think about how essential the role of an expert is to building the awareness, not just of what might be misaligned, but also what the relative impact might be.
While I’m setting up for three sets of ten with a weight I couldn’t lift at all last month, I think about the thrill of recognizing incremental progress for what it is – the result of a vision and the commitment and patience to keep moving, one step at a time, toward that vision.
Interested in talking more about your data governance needs? Contact us at:
Carla Russell, Senior Project Manager
My kids are 3 and 5. With all the preschool energy flowing through our house, I can’t help but notice how often the concepts I’m reinforcing with my children are the same ones arising in my data governance work. Here’s my list of the top three lessons that apply to both raising littles and developing a strong data governance program.
1. Focus, don't hurry
I try to remember this when we’re running late, which seems often. It’s so tempting to holler, “hurry, hurry, it’s time to go!”, inciting a sense of urgency because, well, time is of the essence. Then I remember why “hurry” isn’t the best solution. My son drops his glove while he rushes to find his backpack, and my daughter slips on it in the frenzy, and then we have tears and a bumped head, and we are running even later than before.
What we needed in that moment wasn’t to hurry, it was to focus. Take each step, one at a time, to get out the door. Don’t run, just walk. Don’t try to put your boots, backpack, and gloves on all at the same time – something will go missing. Watch your surroundings and adjust to new inputs (like a glove in the middle of the floor).
I think about this when I’m working with an organization to start the cultural shifts necessary to embrace data governance and change their operational relationship with data. It’s tempting to say, “we need to figure this out, so let’s do it. Hurry! Hurry!” We might set a course and try to rush through getting some traction and developing a plan, only to find out why “hurry” isn’t the best solution. Perhaps we find that the movers and shakers weren’t engaged enough in the planning to buy in yet to the process. Or we learn that our initial pilot wasn’t representative enough to just extend to the enterprise, and we’ll have better engagement after we approach the problem in another pilot way first. When we emphasize “focus” instead of “hurry”, we tackle the problem at the speed it requires, even if it seems like it takes longer in the moment.
2. To practice being responsible, you must have a share of the responsibility
I find this arising at challenging times of the day, such as getting out the door, mealtimes, and bedtime. It’s easy as the parent to take all the responsibility in these tricky times, when we’re tired, hangry, or distracted. It seems so much more convenient to just get dinner ready and dished up, the table set and milk poured before the kids enter the kitchen. I fight the urge to select outfits in the morning so my kids stop spending 15 minutes cobbling together bizarre layers of their favorite clothes.
What I need to remember is that, if I take all the responsibility for myself, my kids don’t get to practice handling their own life skills. The tricky times will be tricky when my kids are adults, too – I can’t shelter them from the challenge of transitions. Unless I want to be doing all these tasks forever (ugh!), I have to step back and allow the time, space, and education that comes from taking responsibility for themselves. After allowing for the time necessary to learn, the meal might take longer to prepare, the silverware might clatter to the floor when setting the table, the milk might spill from the jug on its way to the cup. But a household is everyone’s responsibility; it’s my imperative to share it.
I think about this when I’m working with an organization to plan authority and accountability models that support decentralized data stewardship and domain-level data ownership. Unless the same handful of people are ready to work around the clock (ugh!), we have to build a model where they can move back to allow others to step in, step up, and take responsibility of data quality, data processes, and data issue resolution. It’s easy for the seasoned leaders to take responsibility at these tricky times, but these are exactly the moments when we want a fresh perspective to fuel creativity and innovation. They are also great avenues for learning, because the excitement of the new endeavor helps fuel the necessary effort. We are more successful when we build authority through new channels. We work with our key stakeholders support this empowerment in various ways throughout our engagement and beyond: It takes time to learn, space to practice, and education to refine good judgment into great judgment. When we emphasize a structure that distributes responsibility and formalizes accountability, we have the bandwidth to make truly impactful progress.
3. Experiences are how we learn, especially when the outcome is unexpected
If you’ve been around preschoolers before, you know how often the rules seem to be getting broken. It can feel like a soundtrack on repeat, ‘No! Don’t do that! Stop! Don’t go into the snow in your socks! Stop pouring the water all over the table!’
I find myself struggling to balance ‘advice’ with allowing life to happen, allowing for the experience rather than the lecture of, “don’t pull the Scotch tape as far as you can reach”. And I find myself challenged to make consequences relevant rather than punitive. When you pour the water all over the table, it drips over onto the chairs, making our clothes wet. It drips onto the floor in a puddle that we must wipe up. We will now change out of wet clothes into dry ones, stop what we’re doing to get a towel. We learn from the experience much more than the words, from an outcome much more than a projection.
I think about this when we’re starting to get stuck in analysis paralysis, trying to map out the future for data governance requirements before we’ve even gotten to test-drive the structures, roles, or responsibilities. I also think about this when we’re starting to get on track with leadership buy-in and stakeholder engagement, but we still have resistance from workgroups or data stewards when it’s time to act. It can be tempting to wait until someone cautions you about all the potential pitfalls before you move forward. It is easy to expect that, if you just prepare enough, you’ll always get the right answer and never make a mistake. It’s also unrealistic. In contrast to the (very likely) outcome of pulling a foot of Scotch tape from the dispenser, there might not be a ‘right way’ to approach data governance. Because it’s not in place yet, there are many things to build before you can see what’s working. The only way for everyone to experience those steps is to start laying them out, one by one, and reacting to the reality instead of the concept.
Are you interested in learning more about our data governance engagements? Contact us at:
As we described in our previous post about our company culture, we believe that a strong culture builds employee engagement, which supports our ability as a company to tackle new challenges every day.
We were recently recognized as one of the top companies in the country for our commitment to employee engagement and retention through the Best and Brightest National award. When we received the report of our results from the survey completed by our employees, we took the opportunity to reflect on where our staff ranked Prominence Advisors relative to the average. Below we share several of the areas where our score ranked higher than average, with examples of how we foster a sense of connection with our team relative to that area.
Employee Enrichment, Engagement, and Retention
We are extremely selective in our hiring process, so we know we have smart, motivated, creative folks on our team. We also know that keeping smart, motivated, creative folks engaged and fulfilled can’t be taken for granted. We work to build an engaging, appreciative, and enriching environment in ways such as:
We work in healthcare for a reason: We all want to use our talents to improve the lives of others. We take this imperative further than just driving our business relationships. We consider it our responsibility to also take an active role in our community in ways such as:
We love our work and we love to talk about our work with one another. We also love to talk about our lives outside of work, be it a great book or movie releasing, a weekend-warrior trip to a national park, or a recent vacation. We value the lives that our employees lead outside of work, because it brings balance and context to their perspectives when they are at work. We strive to support a meaningful work-life balance in ways such as:
Employee Education and Development
One of the best parts about working at a company committed to solving healthcare’s toughest challenges is that we’re often tackling a problem that’s never been addressed before. Ever. Anywhere. To keep our team nimble and ready for anything, we prioritize education and skill development in ways such as:
Interested in learning more about how to join our team? Tell us more about yourself!
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