Whats Your Admissions Shape? - SMARTMD Whats Your Admissions Shape? - SMARTMD

There are many steps to patient admissions, and the process can get bogged down at anyone of them. Unfortunately, for most organizations, there is insufficient access to information to uncover what needs to be done to address issues or even where those issues reside. Often, organizations are not collecting the data in the first place.

One reason organizations don’t collect data is the nature of their admissions process. Spreading communications across email, text messages, paper forms, and faxes create an impossible environment for proper data collection. At best, there may be spreadsheets that the admissions team manually updates.

SMARTMD VIP (Virtual Intake Portal) combines all communication and information collected as part of the intake process. This gives our clients access to their admissions data. More importantly, the data analytics tools in VIP provide unique views and diagnostic capabilities designed to help improve the admissions process.

The Admissions Funnel

Our funnel report shows where management can focus attention to improve. The funnel view shows where patients are in the admissions process. Each organization will have a “shape” unique to its process. 

At the top of the funnel is the prospective new patients’ first contact. At the bottom are the admitted patients. In between is the sequence of actions.

 All good analyses combine institutional knowledge with data. Given what the admissions team knows about the rate of referrals and ultimate admissions, they can determine if the shape makes sense for their organization.

If an area seems off, the team can dive deeper. VIP provides a more detailed view of the prospective patients’ length of time at the level. 

What the Shapes Say

Each shape has a story. The details between the shape and the timeline give a hint as to where the backup in admitting new patients exists.  We’ll dive deeper into two shapes to see how the problems can be diagnosed and show the high level of a few more. As admissions teams become familiar with shapes, they will be able to assess and address issues quickly.

Extremely Top Heavy

If there is no sudden influx of new prospective patients, a top-heavy funnel indicates that the admission process is stuck. 

The first contact-to-invited is normally a simple click by the person. At any point, the number of people at first contact should be small or in line with the next steps.

So our first step is to determine if this is truly an issue.

The time at most steps is measured in minutes or hours. But, we can see that many of the people on the initial steps of the funnel have been there for half a day or more. 

There may be a few reasons for this:

  1. The messaging from the organization is unclear,
  2. The wrong individuals are receiving the text (patients, family members, and caretakers are all part of the process.),
  3. The implementation is wrong, or something has changed.

With the above analysis, this organization realized they were sending notices to the wrong individuals. While frustrating, it was a simple fix to usher prospective patients through the process.

Bottom heavy 

At first glance, seeing so many more people being admitted than anywhere else in the funnel might be encouraging. 

But, this is a snapshot/point in time view. We should see a relatively even distribution. So, why the large base in the funnel?

For this particular situation, the admissions team provided the prospects with the VIP process only to those who wanted it. The default was still paper. While this may seem a good idea, most people find the virtual platform a better method and should be offered as the default process.

Other Shapes have a story to help inform the admissions team where to focus improvement efforts.


What’s your Funnel look like?

The funnel visualization tool allows each organization to understand its respective state. By reviewing the funnel on a regular basis, administrators can understand changes as they happen and address them early in the process.  

If a funnel shape should change, it indicates that prospective patients are finding a challenge in the admissions process. Understanding the nature of the changes will help improve the experience of patients, families, and caregivers. In addition to being more efficient, organizations will be better able to provide better service to their communities and patients.

The benefits of a Fully Integrated Admission Process

You’ve likely heard the adage, “what can be measured can be optimized.” The challenge many organizations face is that the data from the measurement is not well organized or accessible in a usable fashion; organizations start collecting data without a clear vision of how it will be analyzed. With VIP, the data is collected and presented in real time with usable charts. This is just one of the advantages of an admissions platform designed from the ground through digital transformation.