Integrating Analytics in Healthcare

How can healthcare data analysis evolve from crawling to walking (with hopes of running some day)? Dan Reber guest blogged over at The Healthcare IT Guy recently with some helpful suggestions centered on three ways “steps” toward walking. These steps involve rethinking the types of reports generated, the team dedicated to analysis, and the quality of data collected.

Finding the Exception – With the challenges of regulatory compliance and quality of care delivered, Reber highlights the important of tracking the exceptions. Exceptions reports should track when procedures are not followed. More importantly, it’s essential to collect data that helps you determine reasons why procedures are not followed. It is also essential to adjust and adapt these reports as new processes are introduced within the structure.

Creating an Analytics Department – For analytics to play an effect role in the management and improvement of a healthcare facility, it is essential to give priority to analytics. Establishing an analytics department that is separate from the IT team gives focus to the objectives. You can then assemble a dedicated team that can have champion who establishes and promotes the value of analytics within the organizations, a person of influence that can manage day-to-day operations, and an analytics team to assess data.

Improving Data Quality – With the flurry of information in an organization, it is essential to limit report distribution to valuable data and validated data. The content of data and quality of data must be effectively managed if data is to contribute to bottom line decisions and improvements within the organization. A constant vigilance to data quality is essential but it doesn’t always have to be serious. Reber suggest contests to search out inaccuracies can be helpful (especially in the start of a data dissemination program) to get active engagement from surrounding departments. More traditional methods like spot checks and data report comparison (comparing canned reports with host system) are also vital.