Community-based palliative care programs continue to rapidly grow and evolve in the care at home industry. Whether someone has an established community-based palliative program or is starting one from scratch, there are many ways to quantify a program’s return on investment (ROI). The ROI should be the foundation on which an organization builds and sustains a program.
Traditionally, ROI is a financial metric that looks at how much profit is gained from an investment. Though financially driven ROIs should be established in palliative care, it is also important to consider impacts of patient outcomes, healthcare outcomes and partnerships to prove the value of the palliative program. ROI approaches can and should be combined to align with the most significant value adds of the program, such as rehospitalization rates and patient care satisfaction.
The program’s approach to community-based palliative care may also affect the ROI approach. For example, a consultative-based program is going to use different ROIs than a program that focuses on pain and symptom management. If a program takes several programmatic approaches, each approach should have its own defined ROI.
This blog is the first of a series that focuses on actionable ways to define ROI and outlines common palliative key performance indicators (KPIs) to show the health of your chosen ROI.
There are three primary areas to begin to explore return on investment in community-based palliative care and we will explore each area in separate blogs:
- Patient Outcomes
- Healthcare Outcomes and Partnerships
Key Performance Indicators
After defining ROI approaches, palliative care providers can determine what metrics define successful execution of their program. These metrics are often referred to as key performance indicators. KPIs are a living metric, monitored over time, that helps track the health of an ROI approach. Several KPIs may roll up to one ROI approach to define its return to the program more robustly.
KPIs should be benchmarked using internally defined local or national data, whenever that information is available, to provide the comparative health of a metric. KPIs can be used to communicate the overall health and return of a program to the larger organization clearly and concisely. KPIs can also be used as an easy tool to trigger targeted continuous quality improvement efforts if they fall below a certain benchmark or expectation.
This blog series is written in collaboration with Mark Hendrix of nTakt.