Ask an Expert: Root Cause Analysis | Binary Fountain

September 05, 2019

Ask an Expert: Root Cause Analysis

By: Kayla Zamary

root cause analysisIn this series, Binary Fountain offers its staff expertise to answer common questions about online reputation management.

In this post, Binary Fountain’s Director of Product Management, Pallavi Kapnadak tackles questions related to the new Root Cause Analysis feature.

What is the new Root Cause Analysis feature from Binary Fountain?

It’s a completely new feature that we have on our platform and it allows users to drill down into patient experience and identify the root cause of either a physician’s or location’s performance based on analysis of unstructured feedback.

Now, when I say location or physicians, it really can also scale up to higher levels, so that you could roll up a group of physicians together into one location or bring several locations together into a region, simply by applying a hierarchy filter. The way it works is that we have a Natural Language Processing (NLP) tool that analyzes direct feedback from surveys or online reviews, and then it goes through and generates insights and sentiments. Then, these insights and sentiments are tied to our 63 themes that are spread across eight categories, which are then displayed on the root cause analysis dashboard.

We do go a step further, in the sense that we tie everything to those themes and categories, but then we also identify what we call “sub-themes.” With each insight from a comment, we can also identify a sub-theme that falls within that broader general theme. When all of that is done and presented on the dashboard, it allows patient experience professionals the opportunity to analyze the insights and the breakdown of patient sentiment across all of these themes and categories. They can also apply the filters to look at it at different levels of the organizational hierarchy, like from an executive-level or manager level.

Themes can also be customized. If we see that sudden sub-themes don’t fall under those themes we’ll capture this under the “general” theme and then at the end of the year, we’ll go and identify new themes from those. We are looking to continuously update our themes and categories.

What pain point does this solve for clients?

The ultimate purpose is to identify areas of improvement and areas of strength within an organization. So knowing that an organization is collecting all of these comments from surveys or from online reviews, they can use that to quickly identify which area should be improved on and which are the areas where they’re really doing well.

One of the other things we’ve done is come up with a reporting feature and that essentially is doing the work for you. If users are too busy to check the dashboard manually, they just click on that report button and it’ll highlight the top five areas of improvement and the top area five areas of strength as well.

I think one use case might be that a user comes in, looks to the report and identifies five areas of improvement and decides to have work streams assigned to those areas. Users can monitor those over the course of the year and see the impact of their improvement efforts. They can identify if there was a particular topic that improved or if there’s something new they can zone in on and see if they want to get more information.

You can view things at the brand level and see the conversations, and then narrow the search down to the location level. Food services typically are something which is procured centrally for the entire hospital system, so if people are complaining about that, that’s perhaps something that someone at the brand level can handle it.

It doesn’t just help decision-makers at the top, however–when you go down to the location, the location managers may want to know about things like staffing issues. That’s a local problem that the location manager would want to know about and fix.

Does it have different levels of access? Is it a single sign-in or are there permissions for individual users?

It is customizable. It’s a feature that we can turn on at the client level, but also at the user level, so it really depends on how organizations want to use this. In some places, it’s only the central user that has access to it and then they are generating these reports for the location managers and just mailing it to them on a biweekly basis.

In most situations, I think the hospital systems just prefer all of the location managers to have access to it so they can go in and either drill down and find areas of improvement or generate those reports themselves, so it really depends on how they want to do it.

What is the main purpose of Root Cause Analysis?

I think whether it’s the patient experience team specifically or the marketing team, the ultimate goal is to improve the patient experience. It’s one thing to make sure that a provider is generating patient referrals and improving revenue, but it’s another thing to actually bring more patients in and make sure that they have a good experience.

I think the second purpose is also to maximize the investments from the insurance companies. It works both ways–when you’re trying to make sure that the patient experience is good and your referrals go up, your reimbursements can also go up. With the HCAHP surveys, which are mandated, providers require certain scores for reimbursement. This tool helps that.

Is this a standalone feature or does it augment an existing product?

This is an existing feature that compliments our current product. If we enable it on the back end, specific users will have access in the analyze tab. 

What are some best practices for using this feature?

I think one of the ways is to go into the main analysis dashboard and quickly get a scan of all categories and themes, and then see the positive and negative performance metrics. When users see something as negative, they may want to drill down and look into specific themes within those categories and they can then click on those themes for more detailed information and related sub-themes. 

For example, you may find a patient with a negative experience was seen in a timely manner and the diagnosis was good, but the provider’s bedside manner was lacking. That can impact their loyalty to that provider, so organizations really need to drill down on these issues and create action plans for improvement.

We do have a couple of other features that we’ve built out over the years. We’ve added something called “Demographics,” which allows patient experience themes to drill down into a variety of factors, including age and gender. They can use various patient demographics to slice the data further.

Another cool ability is a filter that helps analyze all of the comments by overall ratings and sentiment. This a good use case for when a provider wants to see comments with 9/10 ratings, but still identify issues that prevented a perfect score. Maybe the front desk staff was rude or the cleanliness of the office facilities was an issue. You can start narrowing down other things that are issues that you may have not identified.



About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

Request a Demo