What Can Data Analytics Do For Healthcare Organizations?
Healthcare is changing faster than ever and creating exponentially more data, leaving companies to figure out how to organize, analyze, and apply it to achieve better business and patient outcomes.
There is no denying the power of data, but on its own, it has essentially no value. It is only through analysis and evaluation that data transforms into meaningful knowledge that allows leaders to be results-driven, understand what works (and what doesn’t work), and make more informed decisions.
Technology and analytic tools also help organizations to improve staffing, which is increasingly important given today’s labor shortage. Trends that pinpoint specific resource use at certain times can result in better care coordination and more efficiency.
While there is enormous potential for healthcare organizations to use data strategically, many organizations find themselves struggling to collect information accurately and consistently, and stuck with silos of information that don’t tell a complete story.
How Health And Human Services Organizations Can Become Data-Driven
Identify Key Performance Indicators
The first step in becoming more data-driven is to clearly define the clinical and operational questions you need answered. Business objectives should drive information requirements.
The key to using data to improve operations, satisfaction, and care starts with measuring the right data. Identify the top 5-7 key performance indicators (KPIs) that measure performance against your goals. Include both leading and lagging KPIs to give an accurate and clear picture of performance in real time. Leading KPIs are related to where you want to go while lagging KPIs measure what you’ve achieved so far. Many executives review a dashboard that features KPIs on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Healthcare executives often review financial indicators such as revenue and expense, but there are many other metrics that can help identify trends, risks and opportunities. For example, an uptick in overtime may be an indicator that you need to ramp up hiring.
Define A Clear Plan
Too often, data is perceived as a back-office, tactical function, when, in reality, it is what strategically drives successful organizations today. Once your objectives and KPIs are clearly defined, it’s time to evaluate your current state and develop a data and analytics strategy. This requires a holistic view of the complete lifecycle of data, and the people, systems and processes that turn raw data into actionable insights. Though many mid-market healthcare organizations lack this knowledge in-house, there are independent third-party companies that bring extensive expertise in developing and executing a data analytics strategy that aligns with your strategic goals.
Start With What You Have
There are many analytics tools and technologies available today and most organizations already have one – an electronic health record (EHR) or electronic medical record (EMR) system. These systems have been the dominant source of information management in the sector. Although some clinicians are still learning how to maximize EHR and EMR systems’ clinical workflows, processes, and capabilities, these systems contain a wealth of information and provide significant data analytics capabilities.
That all said, simply having an EHR or EMR system is only the first step. The data in the system is not meaningful without proper structure, analysis, understanding and application. When used properly, an EHR gives leadership and staff the information they need to quickly and accurately drive positive patient outcomes, operational efficiencies, and staff productivity.
Establish Data Governance
Data governance is a critical element of a data analytics strategy. Healthcare organizations need to ensure that data is stored in a way that is safe, secure, compliant, and also accessible to the right people. Data governance is defined as how an organization manages its data assets. It includes the policies, procedures, roles and responsibilities that guide overall data management. Data governance measures also ensure that data is accurate, consistent, complete, available and secure.
Speak With The Healthcare IT Consultants At Hartman Today
Data is a gateway to better business and patient outcomes. Hartman Advisors helps health and human service organizations to organize, analyze, integrate and leverage data to support their business goals and serve their internal and external stakeholders. Speak with one of our Healthcare IT leaders to learn how your organization can use data more strategically to create better business and patient outcomes.