Today we are going to talk about Crystal reports, and why they are so important to using the ZOLL software. Crystal reports is a third-party software that allows you to access data in your database and display it in a variety of ways. What I would like to do is give you some ideas of different ways you could look at your data to get you to start thinking creatively on how you could use the reports to benefit your agency specifically. I find it’s really easy to get stuck in the box of our canned reports, and we forget that with Crystal reports the possibilities are almost limitless as to how we can look at our data; if you put it in the database, I can get it back out.
Report Idea #1: How Many Calls Does Each Dispatcher Take?
Have you ever had a crew member come to you and say “that dispatcher hates me, they are always giving me all of the calls?” Yes, for all of us that have worked in EMS, we have definitely heard that very complaint. Have you ever thought about a report that could actually show if the crew member is in fact correct? We like to think, that wouldn’t happen in my dispatch center, but in fact you can prove whether you have a problem or not. We could easily build a report that shows all of your dispatchers and how many calls they dispatched each crew member on.
Report Idea #2: Who Bills Whose Charts?
One of my favorite complaints from a biller: “I hate billing so-and-so’s calls. They write the worst charts, and I always get stuck billing all of their calls.” Who has heard that before? Well, we could take a look at who bills each crew members’ charts. You’d be able to track and see if one biller always gets tone particular crew member’s charts. I would probably take this one step deeper and look to see if that crew member does write terrible charts. But let’s start with showing who bills for what crew members most often.
Report Idea #3: Track Light & Sirens Transports
We could look at the percent of lights and sirens transports to the hospital we get paid on. This one makes me kind of happy. We could get some idea as to how good or bad our documentation is on these calls. If the patient is really so sick that they required light and sirens transport to the hospital we should be getting paid on these, especially if the patient has insurance. This could be a super easy way to help collect reimbursement of the really sick patient transports. We could even trend these numbers to find out where we typically fall and make sure we don’t fall below our standard.
Report Idea #4: Collection Rates vs Interventions Performed
Have you ever thought of looking at collection rates versus interventions performed? This one could be amazing and super scary at the same time. I would like to think that we would get paid more on calls that a patient was intubated versus just a standard IV. To intubate a patient, they have to be super sick, or even perhaps going to die if we don’t do something. You could look at this data for a glimpse into your documentation and billing practices to make sure both ends are where they need to be to get the best money collection possible on these patients.
We are only stuck in the box we put ourselves in. If you have the data you can do analysis of that data. You really just have to figure out the best way to display the data to help answer the questions you have. I have only listed a few ideas to get you thinking about different ways you could help improve your system. We all have areas we can improve, it’s really just a matter of identifying that area. Sometimes a small tweak to documentation or billing practices can help improve our collection rates. Maybe we do have a dispatcher who really is out to get one of our crews and is beating the life out of them while they are on shift. These are things our data can show us. Please keep in mind that a few of these ideas are based on having more than one of our products. If you want to see billing data against interventions you need to have our ePCR and billing products. The integration of the ZOLL software opens a lot of doors for data analysis.