The ability to generate the meaningful insights necessary to improve care and lower costs in a sustained fashion over time is a hospital’s most vital competitive edge. Having access to the data needed to drive changes to your business, and knowing how to use that data, is imperative.
Most hospitals use some form of business intelligence (BI) to collect data, analyze, and act on the insights the data reveals, but they also share a common triple threat of pain points that dramatically interfere with their effectiveness.
- Knowledge hoarders: Staff who hold information close to the vest for fear of losing control, political capital, or their jobs.
- Siloed departments: Most healthcare enterprises are built upon services lines and departments, which often creates large discrepancies in terms of data access and capabilities.
- Data context: Seeing the big picture is incredibly important to establish the right key performance indicators that result in impactful changes.
Matthew Esham, Director of Business Intelligence/Analytics at LUMEDX and former service line leader at Christiana Care Health System, has worked with multiple facilities facing these challenges. “The ability to recognize and address maturity blockers is the difference between those who succeeded – and those who didn’t,” he said.
“But before facilities embark on the mission of improving their BI, it’s important they understand what they’re doing wrong,” Esham says. “This will kick start an assessment process to put the right goals, targets, and vision in place – all of which are critical if a BI initiative is to lead to lasting, positive change.”
Having access to the data required to drive change is the first step, but then you have to know how to use the data. “For example, the most common variable people want to look at is ‘by provider.’ But do you understand how provider variance impacts costs, outcomes, and even patient and staff satisfaction?” Esham said.
And although technical challenges should not be underestimated, there’s a psychological component that often creates roadblocks to BI maturity as well.
One is the deeply held belief that the initiative will be too expensive and too complicated. “This can lead to giving up before they even get started,” Esham said. Another common statement is, “Our environment is very complicated.” Nine times out of 10, when we work with those clients the reality is their processes are very immature, resulting in data that is incomplete, contradictory, or just plain wrong.
“Analytics give you the ability to identify these areas, implement process change, and monitor the impact of those changes every day,” Esham said.
Business Intelligence at its core is the ability to learn from yours and others experience and use that knowledge to drive change. HealthView Analytics provides the services, tools, and insights your organization needs to jump start your maturity, no matter what level you’re currently at.
To learn more, check out the webinar Delivering Clinical and Business Excellence: The Power Of Data Transparency for the strategies, tactics and best practices Christiana Care has implemented to ensure top-quality care delivery while containing costs.