3 Reasons Why Work From Home Programs Fail & How to Succeed

Here are 3 reasons why healthcare work from home programs will fail and what you can do to avoid bringing your remote revenue cycle staff back into the office:

 

Reason #1: Most Work From Home Programs Lack Visibility

In an office, managers and directors can walk their rounds to see how everyone is feeling or gage who might be goofing off instead of hitting their accounts. This visibility is important for managers to build trust and personal connections with their team.

After sending staff home, even if they are the best performers, you lose this ability to check-in on staff from time to time. As a result, you can begin to lose trust in your staff, and lose the motivation to maintain relationships.

This lack of visibility affects staff too. They lose opportunities to form personal connections and feel like they’re part of a team, which is crucial for internal culture. Many of the workers who champion the remote work model often report feeling isolated and distressed after working from home for a few months.

Visibility for the complete team is essential to maintaining culture.

Team chats and conference lines will not supplement the inherent need for the office environment, even when working from home. Using technologies available today, you can achieve visibility and leverage collective team intelligence to overcome common problems while keeping your team connected.

 

Reason #2: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Security Threats

Too many providers out there are sending their revenue cycle staff home on a “Bring your own device” (BYOD) basis. As pointed out by Mischa Dick in this article on BYOD security risks, this method of sending staff home presents a great deal of risk to the organization. This means patient accounts are being sent to compromised devices, across unsecured networks, capable of being printed on household printers or fax machines.

If you’re even somewhat responsible for ensuring the remote work program’s success, this should make your skin crawl.

To avoid being a catchy headline article, you want to purchase and implement equipment that will be owned by the organization, optimized to its standards, and maintained by the organization over time. Owning the equipment that your remote staff will be working from can save drama down the road and provide some much-needed peace of mind.

 

Reason #3: Remote Work Technology Only Measures “Productivity”

Productivity CAN be a great metric, but it is constantly being used incorrectly as a KPI. Remember that productivity is only an indication of how fast work is being completed. This is not an indication of how effective your remote workers are at resolving claims.

A recent example from talking with revenue cycle leaders: remote employees had figured out how to manipulate their productivity metrics without alerting leaders. They would open an account, spend the minimum required time on it, then move on to the next one. This allowed them to meet the productivity quota AND finish work early, while still being on the clock. The end result? Quality takes a nose dive and employees are brought back to the central business office.

Instead of relying on productivity metrics, we recommend using existing technologies to focus on efficacy metrics such as: the % of single-touch resolutions on accounts, productive web time (hours/day), how long staff are on the phone with payers, and % denials overturned.

Using metrics like these, you can create a comprehensive efficacy measure of a remote employee’s performance or accurately gage the performance of the team as a whole.

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