Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Go
Search posts:

Data analytics crucial to improving healthcare

Posted Aug 21 2014 12:44pm

by Lynn McVey

Current healthcare literature says that without robust analytics technology, healthcare organizations can't fully achieve the goal of affordable, high-quality care, good intentions notwithstanding. The data is there, but the healthcare industry does not have an evenly distributed knowledge of how to use it effectively.

We all know in any crowd of two or more, we are reluctant to raise our hand to ask a question. Crowd mentality diminishes our ability to learn because we hesitate to publicly disclose we need more knowledge. That is what's happening in healthcare today. We know that metrics and data are the answer yet, the emperor still has no clothes on. Clinical managers aren't skilled in how to analyze data. Hell, they just started data collecting only recently.

With potential savings of up to $300 billion a year, according to the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, the upside of industry-wide analytics is considerable. And, increasingly, providers have the raw data they need right now. They just don't know how to turn a data collection into a useful data illustration. Even though it is not quick, it can be quite simple.

The following revelations were made at the recent Healthcare Analytics Symposium & Expo 2014. First, there is a great divide in terms of understanding game-changing benefits of analytics. What's encouraging is how analytics drive efficiencies in clinical practice that yield enormous health and financial benefits. What's disheartening is the huge amount of inefficiencies there are, and how these inefficiencies currently slap people across the face.

I presented Aug. 10 at the AHRA (The Association for Medical Imaging Management) annual meeting in Washington, District of Columbia along with two other passionate disrupters, Kenneth Fazzino and Jeffrey Palmucci. Our topic, "Using Evidence Based Practices to Improve Efficiencies in the Hospital Setting" was presented before, but never to this enthusiastic a crowd. It struck us that finally, managing using measuring metrics is accepted as mainstream and credible.

Healthcare normally followed the "crawl, walk, run" theory of cultural change, but we continue to swim upstream with our solution which is quick, simple and the least expensive out there. It's all about the data. Currently, there are six common data sets among all hospital departments. These six are collected monthly and compared against six national benchmarks. Simply put, what we measure improves.

We agree that healthcare analytics is in its infancy, in an industry that has absolutely no time to lose. This is precisely why we preach our quick, simple and inexpensive solution. A national data warehouse of six key operational/financial performance indicators is already available to all hospitals to use to identify where their expensive variations exist. Unfortunately, many insist on staying inside their own hospital using internal benchmarks only, so they remain in the dark.

It takes a brave, powerful leader to compare their data to all other hospitals. We preach to you, as a U.S. citizen watching healthcare bankrupt our nation, please get moving.

Lynn McVey serves as chief operating officer of Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center, an acute care, 230-bed hospital in New Jersey.

Post a comment
Write a comment: