Staff productivity is returning to its pre-pandemic levels.

Quality assurance is a big part of productivity.

The option to bring staff back to the office is officially designed.

The revenue cycle workforce has changed a lot over the last few years. The revenue cycle department used to be on the office floor, but now most staff have been working remotely for years.

While working remotely has been a success for most organizations and is now a permanent work model, measuring productivity has moved to the forefront of concerns because staff are no longer under constant supervision.

In order to get the most out of their fully remote or hybrid staff, executives got together to discuss how productivity has changed in recent years and share best practices for measuring productivity.

The productivity of the customer service team at the University of Kansas Health System went through the roof when they were sent home from work. The team could not meet their goal of three minutes in the office.

“We have a goal of three minutes per call, and our customer service team was hitting four and five minutes a call while in the office,” he said. The team has been below three minutes a call for the past 22 months.

Other departments didn’t see the same boost in productivity as other departments.

The assistant vice president of revenue cycle operations for Wellstar Health System said productivity per department is a mixed bag.

Dudley said that they saw an immediate boost in productivity when they first sent staff home. There wasn’t much distraction. I think that we’re dealing with the same productivity levels and potential challenges that we did pre-COVID-19 now that distraction has started to creeps back in.

Remeasuring productivity measures

The ebbs and flows of productivity since the beginning of the Pandemic have made it necessary for leaders to step up their procedures for measuring productivity across all departments.

Revenue cycle leaders now need to rely on reports and work queue volumes more. Instead of being able to manage staff in person, leaders now have to pull reports, activity logs, and manage work by volume.

Dudley says daily productivity reports is the best gauge of productivity. The complexity of tasks can vary greatly, such as those writing complex appeals versus simple appeals.

There is variability in value-add tasks. When it comes to measuring our productivity, we look for accounts that are successfully resolved, reports showing system actions, and the staff’s time in and out of the system.” We can check from a distance to make sure staff is working effectively.

The man agrees that his organization is similar. We’re looking at accounts. The goal for productivity is to work a certain number of accounts a day.

Quality assurance is a big part of measuring productivity If staff don’t do anything with an account, it’s not helpful. The team will have to do a lot of work.

When it comes to measuring productivity, Lakeland Regional Health’s vice president of revenue cycle says that his organization can see how long staff are in a specific account and what tasks they performed while in that account.

Driskell says revenue cycle staff can’t see what they should have done with the account. It would be helpful to see exactly what staff should have done to resolve the account based on the work queue designation or denial code. He wants to see if staff were able to address any follow-up issues that they needed to and compare that to what they actually did.

The future for the revenue cycle workforce

Now that revenue cycle leaders are working to perfect new productivity measures for hybrid and remote staff, are these new standards here to stay, or will we need to dust off those dirty office cubes since staff will return to the office full time? According to these leaders, remote work is here to stay. For them, at least.

“If staff can’t meet their productivity while working from home, we will bring them back to the office,” Driskell said. “I’ve had a completely different approach to that.”

Bringing them back to the office is no longer an option if their job is now at home. If staff can’t manage new productivity measures, they have to be put on a performance improvement plan. Staff have to make a decision at that point to work faster and more accurately.

Agrees with Dudley. He says that’s the same mentality they have. We don’t want to bring staff back to an office after the shift to remote work. We will no longer have the same level of space because we are downsizing.

The option of bringing staff back into the office is officially designed out.

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The revenue cycle editor for HealthLeaders is, of course, Amanda Norris.