Most health care organizations (HCOS) are aware they can leverage analytics to improve operational performance, increase patient safety, and improve outcomes. However, physician specialty groups often lack relevant and actionable information that can promote performance improvement.
Every dollar in emergency department (ED) professional fees generates far greater revenues for the hospital. And while oftentimes a hospital’s reputation is influenced by a patient’s experience in the ED, the satisfaction scores and other metrics offer little value to ED medical directors because they lack the necessary context and detail required to improve processes and change behavior.
So, what are the reasons for physician specialty groups coming up short on data analytics capabilities?
Challenge No. 1: The vast amount of data being collected
In our data-driven reality, health care leaders can receive daily details on virtually any interaction, which results in a vast amount of warehoused data waiting to be analyzed. Solutions like EHRs collect and store information, but they aren’t designed for analytics.
Data acquisition, the first technical step in the data value chain, includes gathering data from all necessary sources, including scheduling software, billing companies, EHRs, satisfaction surveys, and more. And with all that data, it can be challenging to know which data will reveal useful insights, and therefore which data should be tracked.
Challenge No. 2: Starting with inaccurate, unreliable, and irrelevant data
Preparing data involves more than loading it into a warehouse of information from various sources, including EHRs and financial systems. Historically, EHRs weren’t designed to provide insights and don’t integrate all the data needed for advanced performance analytics, which is why centralized, IT-driven analytics initiatives often fall short of expectations.
Only when warehoused data is cleaned, harmonized, augmented, and curated, will it provide a comprehensive and trusted source of information for administrative and clinical leadership, as well as medical directors and front line providers, to effectively enable performance improvement.
Challenge No. 3: Only having access to enterprise-wide analytics
Enterprise-wide approaches to analytics typically do not address the specific use cases needed by physician specialty groups to optimize performance in their departments. In order to meet the needs of their departments, they require a solution that has been purpose-built for their specialty.
If only given data outputted from an enterprise-wide analytics solution, the data will lack the detail needed to perform analyses that reflect the way the department actually operates. Starting with unfiltered atomic-level source data allows for a solution that accurately reflects all activity in the patient encounter in the context of the way the department operates.
When contextually relevant information is put into the hands of physician leaders, they will naturally use the information to promote positive change.
Get the Most Out of Your Analytics Solution
One of our clients, Stony Brook University Hospital (SBUH), struggled with having timely access to reliable performance metrics to inform the ED management team of key issues.
d2i integrated data from Cerner with SBUH’s billing and coding data, as well as data on physician hours and patient satisfaction. Our performance dashboard transformed their data into intuitive, interactive, and actionable information. Their ED stakeholders now have important information at their fingertips, including door-to-doctor time, CT and lab TAT, time from door to admit, arranged by service, by diagnosis, and more. Within the first year, they had a 25% increase in RVUs, and improved revenue as well — proving the department’s value to the health system as a whole.